Disappointment for skaters as ice rink will not come to St Albans this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 16:26 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

Happy skaters on the rink last Christmas

Happy skaters on the rink last Christmas

SKATERS hoping to take to the ice again in St Albans this winter will be disappointed. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the ice rink at Westminster Lodge during last year s festive season, the attraction will not be returning due to a lack of sponso

SKATERS hoping to take to the ice again in St Albans this winter will be disappointed.

Despite the overwhelming popularity of the ice rink at Westminster Lodge during last year's festive season, the attraction will not be returning due to a lack of sponsors.

More than 20,000 people visited the ice rink, which was put up by Cousins Entertainment Ltd in partnership with Leisure Connection and the district council.

But Cousins said it made a significant loss from the project because of the high costs involved in delivering a temporary ice rink to industry standards and it has said it does not want to operate the attraction this year.

Other tenders have been approached but none have found the offer economically viable.

Alan Abretti, ice operations director for Cousins, said: "We are sad that we will not be returning to St Albans for this season. While we enjoyed our time in St Albans, the rink was not as well supported as we had hoped and the event ran at a considerable loss for our company. However, if a significant sponsor should be found we would be only too happy to return in the future."

Cllr Sheila Burton, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Healthy Living, said: "This is disappointing news for residents and visitors to the district. However, without a significant sponsor the ice rink is not commercially viable. As everyone will realise, with the existing economic climate, this type of sponsorship is extremely difficult to obtain."

The council is currently exploring whether there are other options and locations for the delivery of a temporary ice rink during the 2009/2010 festive period.

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