Innovative skating facility set to open in Gainsborough

The building off Heapham Road where the new skating rink will be opening
The building off Heapham Road where the new skating rink will be opening

The UK’s first SK8Z community skating rink will open to the public in Gainsborough on Friday (October 14), with a formal opening being by MP Sir Edward Leigh.

Following extensive refurbishment and building work, the former warehouse building off Heapham Road in Gainsborough has been transformed to offer a state of the art skating rink, providing a new leisure facility for the local community.

SK8Z utilises “off-ice” skates, specially designed to give visitors the ability to skate, just like they would on an ice rink, but without the need for ice pad facilities. The skates offer the same level of experience gained by ice skating and have been regularly used by Olympic champion skaters Torvill and Dean.

With all the building work completed, the rink boards, lighting and sound equipment all in place and the café facility finished, SK8Z is now ready to open to the public on Friday, October 14, starting with a disco session between 7.30pm and 10pm with music from a local DJ. This will start a full seven day programme of activities including parent and toddler sessions, public skating, learn to skate sessions and discos for varying age groups.

Prior to the first session, Sir Edward Leigh will formally open the facility in front of invited guests who have had a role in making SK8Z happen.

Paralympian Matt Lloyd, and owner of the new SK8Z rink, said: “It is fantastic to see the transformation made to the building and to have a finished rink in such a quick period of time, something which is a testament to the hard work put in by the whole SK8Z team.

“We have held a number of test events, inviting local people and competition winners to give the rink a try for the first time and the reaction we have received has been fantastic.

“We are proud to be offering the community this facility to boost the leisure opportunities available in Gainsborough.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Sir Edward Leigh MP to open the event on Friday and we know he is excited to see the facility in action. We believe it is a project which will really take off and be well received.”

Professional ice hockey player Andre Payette has been appointed the rink’s new general manager.

He said: “The SK8Z facility is excellent for people of all ages wishing to try something new, socialise with friends or get fit, bringing skating to a new area without the need for a full scale ice rink.

“Having skated all my life and played ice hockey professionally across North America and in the UK, having skating facilities being accessible to as many people as possible is very important to me, and SK8Z is offering that in a modern and relaxed environment.

“We’re delighted with the response we’ve already receive on social media with a real buzz around the facility’s opening later this week. We can’t wait to welcome the public for their first skate.”