Plans for ice rink in Lancaster city centre this Christmas get green light

Artist's impression of the proposed winter ice rink in Dalton Square.
Artist's impression of the proposed winter ice rink in Dalton Square.
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Plans to create a Winter Wonderland in Dalton Square this Christmas have been given the green light by the city council.

Members of the planning committee approved the proposals to create an ice rink around the Queen Victoria statue for six weeks this winter.

The plans, put forward by Hannah and Martin Horner from The Borough pub, could attract up to 30,000 people and would give the local economy an extra boost.

Council leader Eileen Blamire said the idea was “excellent” and she looked forward to seeing it come to fruition.

The rink would have capacity for 200 people at any one time, and would be open between late November and early January.

Working alongside Chris Selkirk of Sustainable Festivals, the couple also plan to create space for food and drink stalls under a marquee between Dalton Square and Sulyard Street.

Part of the road to the north of Dalton Square would be closed to traffic to allow room for booths holding skate hire and first aid.

The ambitious festive plans were unanimously approved by the councillors at Monday’s meeting.

Coun Blamire said: “I am really pleased to see this. I think it’s an excellent idea.

“I really hope it’s successful because it’s a wonderful idea for Lancaster. We have waited a long time to have this sort of thing and it will be wonderful for the city.”

The plans were given consent for an initial one-year trial, although it is hoped this will be extended if successful.

After the meeting, Mr Horner said: “We are delighted by the decision. This will be a good thing for Lancaster.

“We are hoping to attract around 30,000 skaters which will be of benefit to the whole of Lancaster and the local economy.”

Mr Horner, who runs The Britannia in Lancaster and The Lodge in Slyne as well as The Borough, said the idea came about through looking across Dalton Square from The Borough’s upstairs function room and having a vision for the square.

“When Dalton Square is all lit up on crisp winter nights there are few places as magical,” he said.

“Late last year I met with Chris to talk about other event ideas when by chance I mentioned the idea of an ice rink.

“Chris explained that he’d written plans in the past for similar projects and the idea grew from there.

“It’s a hugely ambitious and exciting project which the whole community can benefit from.”

The rink will be made from real ice, and takes around 10 days to construct, and a week to dismantle.

The planned opening hours will be from midday to 9pm seven days a week except Christmas Day, and early bird tickets will be available from the website at www.lancasteronice.co.uk.

More details will be available on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Lancasteronice/