Community groups, schools and businesses are invited to get their skates on and book an exclusive ice-skating session in December, when a synthetic ice rink is installed at the Arc Shopping Centre.
Our Bury St Edmunds, which runs the Business Improvement District (BID), is working with a number of partners to ensure that all sessions at the festive attraction, including skate hire, will be completely free.
When not booked by a group every session will be available on a first-come first-served basis to members of the public, with no reservation necessary.
The Bury St Edmunds Family Christmas Ice Rink, which will be able to cater for up to 25 skaters per session, will be located in Charter Square between December 14 and January 3. It will be part of the Christmas In Bury St Edmunds experience from a partnership hosting a variety of events from mid-November and through December.
Chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell said: “This is going to be a fantastic festive treat for families in the town centre – and most importantly there’ll be no charge, because Christmas can be a costly time of year anyway. It’ll be a great activity in itself, or an option to take a break from shopping or before heading to a Christmas meal, with some evenings offering skating until 8pm. We are very mindful of the environmental effect as our winters get warmer, which is why we have opted for this extremely realistic synthetic rink and not real ice.”
The synthetic ice rink, provided by Odin Events, will be one of the most advanced available giving the closest possible experience to real ice but without the environmental impact and high energy use of keeping the rink frozen.
Allan Hassell, who manages the shopping centre and is also vice-chairman of Our Bury St Edmunds, commented: “This will be something that every member of the family can enjoy, even if they have never tried ice-skating before because we will also have a number of skate-aids to help beginners. Families can just turn up and skate at the open sessions without having to worry about booking or hiring skates. We are pleased to be working with the BID to bring this marvellous event to Bury.”
The Bury St Edmunds Family Christmas Ice Rink will also be supporting Gatehouse, which operates the town’s food bank, as its charity partner.
The rink will officially open on Thursday, December 14, at 11am, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by the Mayor of Bury St Edmunds Diane Hind.
Councillor Hind, who chairs Bury St Edmunds Town Council and is one of the project partners, said: “I am so looking forward to welcoming the very first skaters onto the rink in December. As a town council we are very pleased to be supporting this initiative, which I hope will encourage residents and visitors into Bury St Edmunds this Christmas.”
Schools, community groups – especially any working with those with reduced mobility – and businesses who wish to book the 12m by 8m rink for their own exclusive use may do so by emailing Mark Cordell.
Further information about the skating rink will be available at: www.ourburystedmunds.com/events/bury-st-edmunds-family-christmas-ice-rink/