Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Saturday, 5 December 2009

City ice rink celebrates 25 years

Skaters using the rink
About 200,000 people visit the rink each year

World class skaters will be performing in Oxford this weekend to mark the 25th anniversary of the city's ice rink.

The city council said it hopes the rink will continue for many years to come, despite previous concerns it needs a major upgrade and investment.

Skater Martin Minshull, one of the founding coaches of the Oxford School of Skating, is due to attend.

Spectators are set to be entertained by performances at 1700 GMT and 1930 GMT on Saturday from a host of ice skaters.

The ice rink was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and opened in 1984, winning a number of architectural awards for its ship-shaped design with two 30-metre masts at each end.

The council did report that the building needed "major investment" in its infrastructure if it was to be retained long term.

'Alarmist report'

A report it commissioned in July 2007 said that "maintenance costs are rising, and are increasingly difficult to control, given the age and condition of the building".

It went on to say that if nothing was done, the ice rink - which attracts about 200,000 people each year - would eventually close on health and safety grounds.

Councillor Bob Price, from Oxford City Council, said: "The report was commissioned by the previous administration and it was a rather alarmist report which was designed, I think, to try to encourage people to close down the ice rink.

"We rejected that report when we took control in 2009 and it we will be working with Fusion (the rink's managers) on a plan to refurbish the ice rink."

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Oxford Times Oxford ice rink celebrates 25th birthday - 47 hrs ago

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