The rink report’s guide to festive ice rinks across the UK is now available at https://therinkreport.wordpress.com/festive-ice-rinks-2016/. This is our initial list of these seasonal rinks, and some venues still have to confirm dates – some do not confirm their festive ice rinks until after Bonfire Night. A number of small rinks at garden centres seem to have vanished completely this season. The guide only covers rinks that are open for a period of several weeks or more, not pop-up weekend rinks.
Update, 20 December: added Liverpool Pier Head
Update, 18 November: Added Camberley, and Glasgow Candleriggs Square
Update, 28 October: Added Manchester Cathedral Gardens, Manchester Selfridges, Romford, Stoke on Trent, Dover Western Docks, Weymouth, and Gloucester.
Lincolnshire Reporter says that the decision to close Grimsby ice rink has been deferred to a full meeting of the council following a tourism, leisure and culture scrutiny panel meeting on 25 January.
All North East Lincolnshire’s councillors will now have an opportunity to consider the decision.
The council’s Conservative group has challenged the Labour-controlled cabinet’s decision to close the facility.
Members of the scrutiny panel also agreed to set up a working group to look at a business case to keep the rink open put forward by campaigners.
Kent Live reports that the return of Tunbridge Wells seasonal rink is uncertain. The five-year planning permission for the rink at Calverley Grounds has come to an end.
Days after it was announced that Grimsby ice rink is to close, a new ice rink was announced as part of a £55 million stadium plan for Grimsby Town Football Club.
Lincolnshire Reporter was among sites to report details of the plan along with the first images of the proposed development at Peaks Parkway.
Sports property developer Extreme Leisure’s scheme includes a 14,000-capacity football stadium, a new ice rink, additional sports and leisure facilities, retail and food and beverage outlets. A council decision on whether to support the proposals is due on 18 January.
Local radio station Lincs FM reports that a decision could be taken today to close Grimsby’s ice rink.
The cabinet committee of North East Lincolnshire Council will be meeting to discuss a recommendation to shut the rink. The rink currently operates using a temporary ice pad, which was installed in September 2014 for an inital period of two years. The council has to decide whether to renew the lease on the temporary plant.
There is a petition on Change.org to save the rink: https://www.change.org
Update (22 December): The council voted unanimously to close the ice rink. The timetable for its closure is still to be decided.
Slough Council has at last agreed a deal with The Ice Rink Company for a temporary ice rink while Slough ice rink is refurbished. According to Slough Observer, the council says it signed an agreement on 9 December, although the temporary rink will not be in place until 2017.
Slough ice rink, operated by Absolutely Ice, shut at the end of October. A temporary ice rink was meant to open by 17 December but contracts were not agreed in time. The council has demonstrably dragged its heels over the issue of providing a temporary rink, leading to a campaign by rink users to ensure continuity of skating during the works.
Refurbishment is due to be completed by December 2017. The operator of the refurbished rink has yet to be decided. Slough Council currently has the operation of its leisure services out to tender, and it is unlikely that a pure ice rink operator will take on the entire portfolio.
Slough Council’s leisure development and client manager Victoria Coady stated in a release in November 2016 that: “The temporary ice provider will not be running the main rink following refurbishment. We are tendering for one operator to run all of Slough’s facilities from June 2017 and therefore we are looking for an operator proficient in running all leisure provision, not only ice.”
Channel 103 reports that the seasonal ice rink at Fort Regent, St Helier, Jersey, in the Channel Islands has been cancelled a second time following a U-turn by the States of Jersey on backing the project.
The seasonal rink that forms part of the Arctic Village at nearby Weighbridge will therefore be the only seasonal rink on Jersey this year.