Northampton’s ice rink ‘too cold’ remove

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Officials are working to make sure the Christmas ice rink in the Market Square is removed “as quickly as possible”, after revealing it had proved too cold to melt the ice.

The rink was brought to Northampton as a last-minute Christmas attraction for shoppers at the end of November.

The 24 metre by 14 metre covered ice rink was brought to the town by John Thurston Funfairs, opening on November 22 before it closed to skaters on January 13.

However, more than two weeks later, most of the rink remains in the Market Square.

Officials said last week’s heavy snow and freezing temperatures left the owners unable to melt the foot-deep rink.

A Guildhall spokesman said chemicals have to be used to melt the ice rink to then allow the removal of the rest of the covered structure.

However, the sub-zero temperatures meant it was too cold to melt the ice and rendered the liquid useless.

Councillor Brandon Eldred (Con, East Hunsbury), Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for community engagement, said: “Some of the structure of the ice rink is still in the Market Square and we have been working closely with the owner to ensure this is removed as soon as possible.

“However, because of the very cold weather, the liquid which is used to melt the ice, which is a foot deep, has had no effect.

“We hope when the weather gets warmer that the remaining ice will thaw and the rest of the rink will be removed.”

It has emerged the ice rink should have cost the borough council £75,000. However, following a last-minute cancellation from another location, believed to be Birmingham, the rink came to Northampton for free.

Instead, the borough council paid to meet the attraction’s electricity costs.

A council spokesman told the Chronicle & Echo the exact electricity usage of the ice rink was not yet known.

Councillor Eldred said: “We were able to add the ice rink to our Christmas programme of events in November last year.

“The company had a last- minute cancellation and they agreed to come to Northampton, waiving their normal fee which is £75,000.

“As a contribution we agreed to pay the electricity costs.”

The rink was brought in following the visit of a German Market to Northampton the previous year.