Ice rink in city to be big­ger this year

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

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.”

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