Torfaen has now been home to The Ice Academy for nearly seven years. Initially established in May 2012 and located in Llantarnam Park, Cwmbran, this unique business can now be found at the Polo Grounds Industrial Estate, New Inn, Pontypool and continues to go from strength to strength.
Run by business partners Gareth Giles and Jonathan Bussy, The Ice Academy provides unique, professional carvings for weddings, private events and celebrations across Wales and beyond. Water frozen into blocks at -30 degrees, weighing 300 pounds and measuring one and half metres form the raw material from which Gareth and Jonathan skilfully carve and create a myriad of unusual, bespoke and spectacular shapes and sculptures as well as vodka luges and bottle coolers. A free design consultation is also available.
In addition, individuals can enjoy the unique experience and thrill of ice sculpting for themselves either through one to one bookings or classes that cater for a range of abilities from fun, short taster sessions to longer master classes. Options tailored to informal occasions such as hen or stag parties also are proving popular.
The corporate market is also an important side of the business.
“Over the last seven years we have been fortunate to have a built a good client base across the UK supplying firms such as Samsung, Puma, S4C and BBC shows as well as local venues including the Celtic Manor. We have also been successful in developing team building and training events, for example a session for one hundred 02 employees in Battersea and have recently started supplying cocktail bars in south wales and Bristol with uniquely designed ice cubes. ”
When asked what The Ice Academy was most proud of, Gareth said:
“In January 2019 we provided the main table centrepieces at the Motorsport Industry Annual Business Excellence Awards at the NEC in Birmingham which was fantastic for us. The most unusual sculpture project we have ever taken on was a three metre high ice maiden weighing 1,500 kg for the top of Snowdon. This was to commemorate the five year Agile Nation Project run by Chwarae Teg, and was transported up Snowdon via the mountain railway and constructed on site.”
Gaynor Wakeling, Business Development at Torfaen Economy & Enterprise said:
“Having provided The Ice Academy with business support and funding back in 2012, it’s been a real pleasure to catch up with them and hear that they are still going strong. This is a unique business and we are delighted that Torfaen’s location, good transport links, options for business premises along with its entrepreneurial spirit continues to suit the team at The Ice Academy. We wish them a fantastic 2019.”