Congratulations to local businessman Phil Duckett for bringing back Worthing’s ice rink on Steyne Gardens this week.
Ice rinks have had a chequered history in Worthing with last year the then organiser Cities on Ice pulling out at the last minute. Worthing Town Centre Initiative had previously organised temporary ice rinks each year from 2009 but they run at a loss.
There have been the usual calls on Facebook for a permanent ice rink with some suggesting The Lido. Before 2009 a survey among Worthing schoolchildren voted a permanent ice rink as their number one want.
During the opening of the first ice rink in 2009 a community petition was started which received over 4,000 signatures hard copy and on-line. The petition sparked a group of investors to create ‘Project Worthing’ to fulfil the ambition for a permanent ice rink together with an arena, 50 metre swimming pool and marina.
Worthing Borough Council rejected the project and built their own new swimming pool instead – the new Splashpoint Pool. One of the Council’s reasons was they believed an ice rink would not make money. Were they right or wrong? The jury is still out.
Mr Duckett has invested £100,000 in his ice rink and if it proves a success will be back year after year.
We wish him every success.