Canterbury’s spectacular Christmas ice rink in the Dane John Gardens will open for spins, twists and turns on Friday 29 November.
The city council, which is running the rink directly as a commercial and cultural venture, announces today (Tuesday 17 September) that it has chosen one of the UK’s leading companies in the industry, iSkate, to supply and install the rink. Among their many projects, iSkate provides the rink for the ITV show Dancing on Ice.
Canterbury on Ice will run every day (except Christmas Day) until Wednesday 1 January 2020. Opening times vary, but will be from 10am to 9pm on weekends and during the school holidays. The maximum capacity is 140 skaters per session.
Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday (20 September) at canterburyonice.co.uk. It will also be possible to turn up and skate, but this will depend on space being available.
Wheelchair users will be able to enjoy the ice and may be accompanied on the ice by a guest, who will be entitled to one free ticket.
Child skate aids can be hired, subject to availability, to help children experience the ice. Parents must judge whether their children can skate safely.
The rink, which will have a clear roof to allow skating whatever the weather, will be complemented by a variety of food and drink outlets, including sweet and savoury snacks, hot drinks and alcoholic seasonal drinks at the Christmas bar.
The council’s Head of Commercial and Cultural Development, Caroline Cooper, said: “We’re very excited about Canterbury getting its first Christmas ice rink. There has been a lot of work taking place behind the scenes to get to this point and now we can finally start talking about it in detail and building up the anticipation.
“The supplier we’ve chosen has a great reputation in the industry and we’ve taken the view that if they’re good enough for Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, then they’re good enough for us too.
“Our rink is going to give people a top quality skating experience and really enhance the city’s existing festive offer. We hope interest will be very high and expect some of the key Christmas dates to sell out rapidly. You’ll need to get your skates on to ensure you don’t miss out.”
iSkate was selected following a competitive tender process run by the council over the last few months, which saw several companies expressing an interest in winning the contract.
The council is currently in discussion with local traders to run the food and drink outlets, and recruitment for a variety of other roles at the ice rink will begin later this month.
Canterbury on Ice’s first two sponsors are Kent and Sussex Cottages and Canterbury College. Other corporate sponsorship opportunities are available and time is limited to secure these. Call the council’s Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Sarah Jackson, on 01227 862423 to discuss sponsorship.