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Councillors back ice rink and drive-in cinema plan

New attractions including an ice rink and drive in cinema have been given the go-ahead on Stratford’s riverside, with negotiations now set to take place with potential operators.

The Rec (49010426)
The Rec (49010426)

During this week’s meeting of Cabinet at Stratford District Council, members agreed to a range of new concessions on the Recreation Ground, Bancroft Gardens and Waterside, with most expected to be in place by next spring.

The changes are part of a widespread refresh of the area, linked to the Riverside Corridor Project.

Other changes council officers will now look to secure include a revamped mini-golf course, operated on a long-term lease, mobile vendors and an electric ferry between the riverbank and the Fisherman’s Car Park.

A large number of the existing concessions granted in the riverside area are due to be coming to an end this year and the council sees this as an opportunity to make changes.

Last week council leader Cllr Tony Jefferson told the Herald the idea was to create a welcoming space outdoor space and maximising visitors to Stratford, who would than support the high street and local economy.

Cllr Ian Shenton, who helped draw up the proposals, told the Herald last week the council would have to carefully consider one of the proposals- allowing year round vending in the space opposite the Encore- to ensure it did not to undermine existing businesses.

However not everyone is convinced, Colin Pike , who runs businesses in the area of Bancroft Gardens, said: “Do we really need any more food and drink in Stratford? I don’t think there’s a street in the town centre where you can’t get something to eat. The riverside area is a huge cultural asset to Stratford, but we need to bring people into the quieter areas of town and make Stratford less weather dependent.”

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