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Canterbury's ice skating rink launch in the Dane John further delayed

By Gerry Warren

The launch of Canterbury's first ice skating rink has suffered another setback and will now not open until Monday.

The operators admit delays in getting some equipment on site put the skids under the original plans to open last Saturday.

But to make up for the lost time, they say it will run for an extra week until Sunday, January 7, as opposed to closing on New Year’s Day, as originally planned.

There has also been a publicity slip-up which led to confusion over bookings and when the attraction was opening.

The opening of the ice rink in Canterbury's Dane John Gardens has been further delayed
The opening of the ice rink in Canterbury's Dane John Gardens has been further delayed

It follows the premature posting of an information and booking website www.canterburyonice.co.uk on the Canterbury Residents Group Facebook page while it was still be worked on.

It suggested the rink was not opening until January but bookings could already be made - neither of which was true.

The city council, which was not responsible, moved quickly to help clarify the situation and have the post removed from the popular Facebook forum.

But some customers had already left their booking details which operators Noah and the Shed say will be honoured.

City council spokesman Rob Davies said: "There was a problem earlier this week when the operator’s test site was mistakenly made live and some people were able to make bookings.

Families will have to wait to enjoy the ice this Christmas
Families will have to wait to enjoy the ice this Christmas

"Just to be clear, the rink is not a Canterbury City Council project. It is a commercial venture run by a private operator. We are supporting it as the owner of the Dane John Gardens because we believe it will be a great attraction for the city over the festive period."

Bookings for the attraction are now expected to open tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday and will be announced on Facebook and Twitter.

Tickets will cost £7.50 for adults and £5 for children for a 40 minute session.

Today, work on the skating arena was progressing with contractors putting down a wooden base for the 30m by 20m arena, which has to be covered with a membrane before being filled with thousands of gallons of water and frozen.

The city council is also working with Noah and the Shed in the wider revamp of the Christmas offer in Canterbury, which involves a big expansion of the Whitefriars Christmas market into St George’s Street, increasing the number of bespoke wooden huts from 43 to more than 70.

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