Canterbury could see ice rink next Christmas – despite slip up in December

An ice rink never materialised in the Dane John

Canterbury could see an ice rink next Christmas even though an effort to set one up in December failed.

The city council believes there was enough interest after the project was announced that a rink for 2018 is a strong possibility.

In a report which went before councillors last night (Monday), the authority said the idea had won support and generated interest “indicating demand for this sort of activity”.

Its author Sarah Randall, the council’s commissions manager, said: “On this basis, consideration is being given to delivering an ice rink for this Christmas but doing so through a procurement exercise.

“In this way, the council can clearly set out its expectations, assess provider competency and have more input over event quality.

“It is proposed to run this as a one-year pilot contract in order to determine the economic benefit to the district and assess any logistical issues which can be addressed in future years contract briefs if that is the desired route.”

The ice rink failed to open in the Dane John

In November the authority announced that a Canterbury-based firm called Noah and the Shed was to install a marquee containing a rink in the Dane John Gardens to open on December 2.

But the project stalled and was ditched a few days before Christmas.

The report to councillors outlines why.

“Noah and the Shed  is a small company and the task of running the market and the rink proved too great with such a short lead in time,” it said.

“The estimated cost for the venture was £80,000 and the plan was to break even in the first year, but the costs continued to rise towards £120,000,” the report said.

“Specifically, the electricity provider at the last minute increased the price of the energy supply meaning that the event would not be commercially sustainable.”


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