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Cool runnings again at rink
SKATERS will again be able to enjoy the ice after a major refurbishment at the Link Centre.
The ice rink, which has been renamed The Ice Arena, was formally opened by the mayor and the Great Britain Luge team, who are gearing up for the Winter Olympics next year.
More than £700,000 has been spent upgrading the rink to improve its facilities and reduce the running costs.
“I’m really pleased with how everything has gone and how it is looking,” said Clive Seabrook, the ice rink operations manager.
“There are still some other jobs to be done around the rink but the important thing is we got the ice back open to the public. That was the main priority.
“We were working until late last night getting it to the right temperature, so I’m grateful for everyone’s hard work.”
The new-look rink now has a state of the art cooling system, which means it can operate at a fraction of the cost it was previously.
Clive said: “Before, the gas we had cost us nearly £1,000 a time and we had to wait several days when we needed more.
“Now it is much cheaper so we will require much less public money. Hopefully, with all the works that have gone in the future of the Link Centre is now secure for a long time.”
The Ice Arena is now one of the top rinks in the country and it is hoped it will act as an inspiration for budding sports stars ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
A J Rosen is part of the GB Luge team that will be heading to Russia next year to represent the country and he says he is impressed with the facilities.
He said: “This is a great place and really good for training. We use ice rinks a lot for technique training and will be using the Link Centre from September before we head out for pre-season training in Norway.
“Having somewhere like this helps to raise the profile of the sport, which is not that well-known. It’s good to see a lot of young people using it.
“Hopefully they can be inspired to take up the sport.”
The Link Centre has been open for 28 years and the refurbishment of the ice rink is just one of a number of improvements designed to safeguard its future.
“People come from all around to enjoy it, so we want to make sure it remains a top quality facility.
“I remember opening the centre 28 years ago, so it is great to see it looking so good.”
A full open day is taking place on August 31 to show off all the facilities. There will be free skating and instructors will be on hand giving lessons. For more information call 01793 445566.
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