Worthing ice rink in doubt after loss

Skaters on Worthing ice rink this year, but there are doubts it will return
Skaters on Worthing ice rink this year, but there are doubts it will return
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A QUESTION mark hangs over the return of Worthing’s open-air ice rink after it made a loss believed to be in excess of £40,000.

As the rink in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, was packed up, organisers were counting the cost of a dismally wet February and the recession.

Worthing Town Centre Initiative, which booked it, would not be able to take such a big financial hit again without substantial increased cash support from the borough council.

But this was thought doubtful as the council was seeking to slash spending.

The TCI will review the situation on March 23 before deciding whether to hire the rink again.

Fewer skaters

Town Centre manager Sharon Clarke said: “We had 19 wet days and 11 dry days this year which has seriously affected skating numbers.

“A total of 17,500 people skated which was 4,500 less than in 2010 and 8,500 less than 2009.

“We noticed this year that the credit-crunch and off-peak sessions were the most popular and this also brought our average ticket price down as well.”

The rink was first hired three years ago and proved a hit with families, attracting people from all over Sussex and beyond.

It boosted the town centre’s economy as skaters subsequently went shopping or visited cafés and restaurants.

But the novelty appeared to wear off this year, partly due to the giant rival rink installed in December/January on the lawn in front of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.