ICE skating fans in Swindon will be able to return to the rink this week.

The Link Centre facility – the only one of its kind in Wiltshire – has been shut for six months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But bosses confirmed a phased return would begin – possibly today – with experienced skaters able to book spaces on the ice. Sessions for the general public are set to be introduced in the coming weeks.

Leisure centre manager Eliot Pether said: “Opening is a little fluid at the moment but I would suggest it will be Wednesday at the latest. It depends on the ice setting and it being okay to use.”

Those wanting to use the rink must pre-book. For the first few weeks only patch sessions for Level 4 qualified skaters and above and private groups such as ice hockey clubs will be allowed on rink.

The rink will have a one-way system in place and masks must be worn by spectators.

Those wishing to use the ice must use their own ice skates as the option to hire footwear is suspended for the time being.

Opening hours for the rink will follow the same as the Link Centre gym, which reopened in July after coronavirus restrictions eased.

The ice staking programme will change for the October half-term, with details to follow.