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Rink return is to be sought

ICE RINK fans could be getting their skates on again in Bognor Regis.

 

Operators Kara and James Cole are keen to return to the town.

 

The couple want to come back for a third Christmas on the town’s seafront later this year. They said the continued backing from the public made them want to stage their seasonal icy wonderland again.

 

James said: “I would say we have done a little better than last year. We want to thank all the people who have supported us and, hopefully, we will be back again.

 

“The rink will be same size – we can’t get any bigger here – but we have a couple of surprises up our sleeves for the other attractions if we are able to return.”

 

The rink’s last skaters took to the 20ft X 30ft area of ice before it closed on Sunday – just over six weeks after it opened on the Place St Maur for the second year.

 

The first time the rink was put up was during the Christmas and new year period of 2017/18. The smaller structure immediately proved popular and some 10,000 got their skates on.

 

This year has seen the rink become a third bigger and more attractions placed around its entrance after approval was given by owner Arun District Council.

 

The early days saw wet weather but the start of drier conditions brought all ages of skaters through the entrance.

 

Kara said: “We’ve still had people from a lot of different places. We’ve even had a family from Aldershot come here regularly. People have liked the fact the rink is bigger than last year.

 

“There’s more room on the ice and to move around off the rink. That has meant people have spent more time here.”

 

James added: “It’s been great to see grandparents with their grandkids here. Coming to the rink is something that families can do to spend time together.”

 

The couple said they didn’t believe the new Chichester rink had greatly affected their business.

 

They thanked Arun, Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID), the Regis Centre volunteers and residents of adjoining Mountbatten Court for backing them as well.

 

Among the skaters at one of the final sessions was Lucy Pierce, nine, of Felpham. She said: “I like skating. I can teach some of the other children how to do it. I feel like I am dancing gracefully when I’m on the rink. I usually start by going round the rink a couple of times and then go into a corner to practise spins.”

 

Her mother, Karen Pierce, said: “We’ve been here four times this year after visiting the rink several times last Christmas.

 

“The kids love it. It’s an attraction for everybody. It’s a really safe environment for the kids.”

 

She and her friend, fellow Felpham resident, Alison Boon, were with three of their children at the rink.

 

Alison said: “It’s good to have something like this for the children to enjoy and it’s something different and safe for them.”

 

Rovetska Myroslava travelled to the rink with her family from Littlehampton.

 

“We’ve come here for the first time and this is bigger and better than the rink in Worthing. It’s good to spend some time with the children and they get some exercise as well,” she said.

 

Bognor Regis BID chairman Paul Wells said: “The ice rink has gone down really well this Christmas. It has attracted people who have travelled from far afield as well as residents. We hope it comes back for next Christmas.”

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