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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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£60,000 'ice' rink in place at Carlisle's Bitts Park

A new skating rink is now in place at Carlisle’s Bitts Park.

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Movers and shakers: Carlisle’s skating rink

The £60,000 outdoor facility is expected to be open to the public by the end of the month, coinciding with the end of the Winter Olympics.

It means those inspired to get out on the ‘ice’ will no longer have to leave the city, with the nearest ice rink 25 miles away in Lockerbie.

It was announced at the end of last month that Carlisle was getting its own rink, and that it would only take a few weeks to install. Up to 76 people at any one time will be able to get their skates on and venture out onto the synthetic surface, which is situated on top of one of the park’s older tennis courts.

It is being supplied by XTraice, a global leader in synthetic skating technology, and promises to act just like normal ice so skaters won’t notice the difference.

The ice rink is a joint venture between Carlisle City Council and Carlisle Leisure Limited (CLL).

It is expected that the council’s one-off capital investment will be recouped through the profits generated from admissions and skate hire. The rink is also portable, meaning it can be moved into the city centre at Christmas.

Colin Glover, city council leader, said: “We’re thrilled that the ice rink has arrived. The grounds crew from CLL have done a great job installing it and are now putting the finishing touches in place. Once these are completed, we are hoping to get it up and running by the end of this month.”

Meanwhile a new High Ropes attraction is also being built at Bitts Park.

Standing in the shadow of Carlisle Castle, it aims to be open by Easter.

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