THE ice rink at the Leisure Centre is too expensive to maintain and will be dismantled shortly, said the Gibraltar Government.

It would cost the government nearly half a million pounds to keep the rink open, after the gas being used as coolant stopped being manufactured.

The government also revealed that the rink was costing £8,000 a month while only bringing in £3,000.

This shortfall was being covered as part of the government’s leisure offering but it had now become unsustainable.

The coolant needed to freeze the surface of the ice rink had stopped being made because of its global warming issues.

With prices going up and it being in short supply, new equipment was needed for a different type of gas which would cost £470,000.

“There have also been issues with water penetration from the ice rink to the bowling alley below,” said the Government.

“This has resulted in considerable costs to the taxpayer over the years.

“In 2019 alone, those operating costs, excluding staff and repairs to the bowling alley, came to nearly £150,000.”

Only about 20 people a day use the ice rink at the moment, mainly from the Gibraltar Ice Skating Association.

With half of those not even living in Gibraltar, the government thinks it is ‘unsustainable’.

“The plan is to re-train the staff to operate the new boulder climbing facility,” said the government.

“It will have very low running costs and no negative impact on the bowling alley below

“The Government expects that this exciting new indoor activity will prove to be a very popular challenge for the community as a whole.”

This news will be a disappointment for the Ice Skating Association that this year saw Sachin Gupta win a UK competition.

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