Thousands get their skates on to make a festive success
9:55am Saturday 29th December 2012 in News
THE town centre ice rink looks poised for a return in 2013 after this year’s Christmas events were hailed a huge success.
A total of 5,500 people have used the Victoria Square rink since it was launched at the start of December.
And children from 35 Bolton schools were also taught to skate there.
The rink is part of Bolton’s Winter Wonderland festive events, which also feature a Christmas market, entertainment and Santa’s grotto, and has been complimented by free town centre parking at weekends and after 3pm on weekdays.
The rink is operated by Ice Aid, which has been running outdoor ice rinks since 2000 in areas including Leeds, Bournemouth, London and Dublin.
Ice Aid owner Tony Boynton said: “It’s been a huge success and the crowds are certainly enjoying it. It was meant to bring people into the town centre and I think it has done. New York has got the Rockefeller Centre and we’ve got Bolton Town Hall.
“Staff are having a great time and said everyone has been really friendly.
“We’ve been doing this in Leeds for 12 years and are going back for a 13th, we’ve got a lot of experience with councils and if Bolton wants us back we’d certainly come.”
Town Hall chiefs are keen to see the rink return.
Leader of Bolton Council Cliff Morris said: “The ice rink has been a hugely popular attraction for people to the town centre and we’re absolutely thrilled with its success.
“We’ve had some great feedback from the thousands of people that have used it and due to its popularity we’ve even held extra skating sessions at the weekend. We’re already looking ahead to 2013 and we will be looking to arrange an ice rink again.”
Cllr Morris has also revealed plans are in place to make next year’s festive fun even more spectacular. He said: “The additional attractions of the free parking, free entertainment and Santa’s grotto have also helped to attract more shoppers to town.
“Our retailers have reported good sales figures which we’re absolutely delighted about.
“We will also be looking at how we can make our festive programme even better.”