ICE rink users in Basingstoke have spoken about what the facility means to them as plans for an investigation to examine the poor condition of the rink gains more momentum.

As previously reported, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have agreed to launch an independent investigation to examine the events that led to the poor condition of the borough’s ice rink.

It aims to address the longstanding grievances surrounding the management of Basingstoke Ice Rink, which is owned by Standard Securities Ltd and operated by Planet Ice (Basingstoke) Ltd.

The council's cabinet met on Tuesday, March 5 to discuss the investigation and members were once again greeted by protesters outside the borough council's building, all hoping to show how much the rink means to them.

READ MORE: Basingstoke council motion to take steps to revive ice rink

The figure skaters, who were all wearing their skating gear, holding banners and posters, continued to demand swift action from the council to resolve the ongoing crisis.

Bex Dilley, 17, who has been skating since she was five-years-old said skating and the rink is her life.

She said: "It is my escape from the real world and it helps my mental health as well, so having that ice rink there is an escape from everything. Skating stops me thinking and stressing about education and work. It gives me a relief when I am not doing anything else that I can go there and just have fun with my friends at the ice rink."

The Gazette asked Bex what life would be like without an ice rink.

Basingstoke Gazette: Right Bex Dilley and left Isla BowenRight Bex Dilley and left Isla Bowen (Image: Sean Dillow)

She added: "I literally wouldn't be doing anything else and I would just be stuck at home doing nothing. Literally my whole world is ice skating. I have got so many friends from ice skating just everything I do revolves around it."

She said she wouldn't be able to travel to different rinks to be able to skate.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke ice rink future uncertain as upgrade plans stall

"The state of the rink at the moment is ridiculous, it is disgusting in there. There is mould in the halls constantly and sometimes we can't skate on the ice because there are too many bumps."

Figure skater Lola Stone, 10, told the Gazette she uses the rink about three times a week and has been skating since she was seven.

Basingstoke Gazette: Figure skater Lola StoneFigure skater Lola Stone (Image: Newsquest)

She said: "It is just so much fun going there and meeting our friends. It is another part of our social life because loads of other people, all different ages, go to the rink so there is a variety of people who are there so it's just fun to meet new people and to also practice and share something that we love together."

Lola said not having a rink would have a huge impact on her life because she wouldn't have met a lot of the people she has from skating.

She added: "I want the rink to be fixed so more people can use it and it can be open more for everyone."

Eleven-year-old Isla Bowen, who has been skating for around four years, uses the rink everyday. 

She added: "I can go there and connect with other people that I don't connect with at school. When I go skating I can forget about all that and have my own time."

She said the current state of the rink is 'gross with mould everywhere'.

Besides the inquiry and plans for the temporary rink, it has been proposed to outline steps to prevent similar failures in the future, arrange a meeting to understand the minimum standards for the safe continuation of sports, and seek legal advice to hold the leaseholder accountable for the repairs of the facility.

During the meeting cabinet members agreed to push forward with the investigation.