WORTHING’S covered ice rink is taking shape thick and fast in preparation for a grand opening at the end of the month.
Mayor Bob Smytherman is booked to open the 80-capacity attraction, at Steyne Gardens, Worthing, on January 31.
The rink, which will be undercover for the first time, will be open until March 3, with skaters able to book 30-minute sessions.
It is being run by businessman Phil Duckett, who is also currently revamping the Southern Pavilion into a wedding venue.
Mr Duckett said he thought reaction had been positive so far.
“It is coming together quickly and I am sure that as soon as people see it, the buzz will be even better.
“I haven’t spoken to many people directly but I have heard from a few people who have been talking to others about it and reaction seems to be positive.
“I think the fact it is covered, unlike other years, will help too.”
Readers have also reacted positively to the ice rink’s return.
Carol Barrett, 50, of Windsor Road, Worthing said: “It will help the young people who have nothing to do, and I think the cover can attract people.”
David Phillips, 35, of The Strand, Worthing, added: “I think my brother will take his children and I reckon the cover will definitely attract people to the town, too.”
Traditionally, the attraction has been organised by the Town Centre Initiative, using funds from local business owners.
But it stopped in 2012 when the project made a loss of around £35,000.
The main difference with Mr Duckett’s plan is that he has purchased the rink and related equipment, cutting costs in the long-term.
Should it be well supported, the future of the rink could be secured for following years.
Mr Duckett said: “All in all, it is an investment of around £100,000 and it needs to be better supported than it has in previous years.”
For more information about session times and prices, visit www.worthingicerink.com
To find out how to win a share of 50 free tickets to the attraction, see the Herald, out Thursday, January 23.
For more reaction to the ice rink’s return, see the video above.