SLOUGH's new Ice Arena will open ahead of schedule, Slough Borough Council (SBC) has said today, after it scrapped plans for a phased opening.

The Montem Lane facility had been due to open in phases so the council could get the ice rink itself up and running as soon as possible for users. The rink was due to open in December of this year while other facilities, such as a climbing wall and gym, following in April 2018.

Now the council has said the entire facility will instead open in March 2018, at least a month ahead of schedule, with the convenience of everything being in place at the same time.

In the meantime, the temporary ice rink, which is situated behind the car park in nearby Montem Leisure Centre, will remain open until the new Ice Arena is opened itself.

The new facility will include: an ice rink, fully-glazed barriers, changing rooms and toilets, spectator seating and lighting, a cafe, a climbing wall with a clip ‘n’ climb feature, and gym. There will also be extensive landscaping to the Bath Road.

Alison Hibbert, leisure services manager, said: “By combining the opening into one clear date we can open the whole complex faster and ice users will not have the inconvenience of trying to skate whilst construction work continues in the building.”

Councillor Joginder Bal, commissioner for leisure and environment, said: “The Ice Arena will be incredible when it is finished and I am excited about it opening ahead of schedule.

“The sooner we can improve all our leisure facilities the sooner we can meet our promise of more people, more active, more often.”

Slough Ice Arena is being built for the council by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR); a partnership between SBC and Morgan Sindall Investments which is driving regeneration across the town including leisure, housing, community and school buildings.

Andy Howell, SUR General Manager said “It’s fantastic that the council is investing in this exciting facility.

“Not only will the Ice Arena attract young people, families and a wide range of other leisure users, but the Slough Jets, our local ice hockey team, will also have an incredible new home.

“It’s time for us to get our skates on and make sure Slough spins to new dizzy heights.”

The latest development comes after the opening of the temporary ice rink was repeatedly delayed late last year - when a date of December 17 never came to fruition before it eventually opened in late February this year.