The brief mention of a Christmas ice rink in Lisburn at last night's meeting of the Council's strategic policy committee was prefaced with the words
and I immediately assumed that substantial = $$$.
If the Council's proposal does go ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how much it will cost local ratepayers, and how much commercial sponsorship will be possible to raise in the current economic climate.
Around Christmas on two or more occasions over the last ten years, Belfast City Council (BCC) have installed an ice rink in front of the City Hall. Minutes from BCC’s Development Committee from May 2001 highlight the predicted costs back then for a six week ice rink.
While the costs are over eight years old and the size of Lisburn’s rink might vary, it gives an idea of the level of potential expenditure.
Looking further back at BCC minutes between 1998 and 2000 shows that even after sponsorship the Belfast ice rinks never broke even, with council (and thus their ratepayers) picking up the deficit of at least £100,000.
Of course the cheaper solution would be to arrange a water leak at the top of Bow Street and then forget to salt the pedestrian area for the next four weeks. Though the legal fees might stack up! Or if Roads Service run out of money and salt, maybe the one way system could swap from cars to speed skating?