Gosport ice rink should host contests, says skate club

BALANCING ACT Skaters at the Gosport rink
BALANCING ACT Skaters at the Gosport rink
Sir Ben Ainslie with INEOs chairman Jim Ratcliffe

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POTENTIAL new owners should turn Gosport’s ice rink into a competition arena.

The Gosport Ice Skating Club says making the site bigger and holding competitions would bring in more customers and profits.

As previously reported in The News, The Arena Group, which runs Planet Ice in Forest Way, wants to transfer its lease to another firm.

Chairman of the Gosport Ice Skating Club Mark Walton said: ‘If they made the rink into a competition rink they could hold lots of competitions.

‘It would bring in extra revenue and it only needs to be made a bit bigger to do it.

‘I don’t want to knock Planet Ice – they have been very good to the club and I would be disappointed to see them go, although new owners could clean up the rink. We would definitely like to work with them.’

Gosport Borough Council revealed on Wednesday that another company was in the running to take over the rink.

It comes after The Arena Group was served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs.

The company has vowed to fight the action.

Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook said: ‘We’ll be working hard with the new company when it comes in.

‘From our point of view the whole area will be an attractive area, bringing in people from outside Gosport and we see them as being part of that.’

He added: ‘It’s a private business so we can’t put in public money but we’re spending £7m on this site and we would like them to put some sort of investment in too.’