A MAJOR milestone in the regeneration of Gosport’s leisure facilities is set to be reached.
Bosses at Planet Ice, at the new Gosport Leisure Park, off Forest Way, plan to redevelop the ‘tired and dated’ building.
It comes as the leisure centre, a pub and hotel all opened fully at Gosport Leisure Park last year.
As reported last year, Gosport Borough Council agreed to pay out £100,000 toward the ice rink scheme.
But changes needed to be made, with plans now set to be approved next month.
Paul Crocker, a self-employed coach at the ice rink, said: ‘It will be brilliant when it’s done.
‘At the moment the rink stands out like a sore thumb, it’s kind of the shed in the corner.
‘It will be good to see it fall in line with the new developments.
‘We are a little concerned about the closure. But the management say they’re pretty sure it will stay open for most of the work.’
The plans for the ice rink will see a new outside facade and a new entrance foyer. A party room will also be created.
Planet Ice also hopes to improve the cafeteria, toilets and box office. The refrigeration plant needs to be replaced by next January.
Councillor Graham Burgess is the deputy leader of the council.
He said: ‘When you think the residents of Holbrook had nothing, they’ve had a jaded, broken, run-down centre – they had no pub, restaurant or hotel.
‘Now they’ve got everything. The ice rink complements the redevelopment of the area.’
Cllr Dennis Wright, the leader of the Labour opposition, said he was originally sceptical about a £100,000 payout to Planet Ice
He said: ‘If they’re going to upgrade it they need to get on.
Cllr Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Lib Dem opposition, said: ‘If we don’t improve Gosport we will lose out as other rinks are built.’
John Neville, managing director of Planet Ice, said it has taken this long as the council asked the firm to change the plans.
He said: ‘We’re looking forward for the changes to be done.’