Joy as Gosport ice rink looks set for major revamp

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GOSPORT’S dilapidated ice rink is set for a massive revamp to coincide with the construction of the town’s new leisure park, The News can reveal.

The Planet Ice rink in Forest Way is showing its age as a brand new leisure centre complex is being developed around it.

But the popular ice rink is now in line for a renovation which will see it completely spruced up.

Gosport Borough Council says it is still in negotiations with Planet Ice over how the project would be funded.

But The News understands the efforts have been finalised and commercial funding has been found. The investment could see the outside of the building completely recovered. It is also hoped to include a new entrance, facing on to the nearby road, as well as plans for a bar and cafe inside the building with a glass partition so people can view the action on the ice rink.

The leader of Gosport Borough Council, Tory Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘This is marvellous news. It completes the jigsaw of the Gosport Leisure Park.

‘I promised the people of Gosport we will provide them with the best we can and I’m pleased we have managed to make this happen in partnership with Planet Ice. It will be a great visitor experience now to come to Gosport Leisure Park when it’s completed.’

Cllr Hook said negotiations have been ongoing with the ice rink’s parent company for more than a year.

The refurbishment would also see a new shop built inside. Plans have yet to be finalised but it is hoped the work could begin early next year.

Once the ice hockey season is finished, the ice rink would close for three months for the renovations to take place inside.

Di Walton, the synchro team manager for the Gosport Synchronised Skating Team, said: ‘I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea. It looks a bit tired at the moment and it looks its age.

‘But lots of people use it and it’s always heaving with people at the weekends.

‘The ice hockey team are playing more games and so I think this would be absolutely amazing. I can’t wait.’

John Neville, managing director of Planet Ice, said: ‘We’re drawing up the refurbishment plans and will have them by November.’