Ice rink in city to be bigger this year
LEICESTER’S ice rink is to return this Christmas – and it will be much bigger than last year’s.
Council bosses say the popular attraction will return to Jubilee Square in December, but on a grander scale.
More than 25,000 skaters took to the ice over Christmas 2017 but city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the demand was such that an expanded rink would make the experience available to more people.
He said: “We knew it would be a success last year but we didn’t anticipate it would be as enormously popular as it was.
“We said we’d bring it back and this time it will be more than 50 per cent bigger
“We know it will not always be so busy but when we looked at it we felt there was the chance to get more people on the ice at anyone time when it is. At peak times it was at capacity or very close to it.
“With exactly six months to go until Christmas we are getting the planning process under way.
“It is something that helped make Christmas in the city a great experience last year and everyone has been hoping it will return.
Last year’s ice rink was 450 square metres bur this year’s will be 650 square metres.
The plan is to open the ice rink to the public on Thursday, December 6. It will then be open every day, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, until Monday January 7, 2019.
Bookings will be available closer to Christmas . The cost of running an expanded ice rink has not yet been revealed but last year, £160,000 was spent.
It did not turn a profit but the council insisted it had not expected it to and said the aim was to draw more shoppers into the city centre to help traders.
The council has also submitted plans that will bring the giant Wheel of Light back to Jubilee Square for Christmas. Subject to planning permission, the 110ft tall ferris wheel will be open to the public from Friday, November 16 until Monday, January 7.
Lana Rickman, 17, from Braunstone, enjoyed using the rink last Christmas. She said: “I’ll definitely be having another go but I’ll try not to fall over so often this time. It was really crowded when I had a go so a bit more space would be great.”