Reigate on Ice will be returning this Christmas

(Manfred Richter via Pixabay)

 

After a year’s break, Reigate on Ice will be back in Priory Park this December, in its usual spot at the Bell Street end of the park.

Dates and booking details will appear on the Reigate on Ice website later in the year.

Cllr Natalie Bramhall, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s executive member for environment, said:

“Reigate on Ice has become a popular part of the Christmas festivities for many families so it will be great to see the event return after a year off.”

Tommy Matthews, of the Matthews Organisation which runs Reigate on Ice, said:

“We’re excited to be returning to Priory Park again this Christmas and look forward to welcoming our customers back for some festive fun.”

The ice rink and its supporting attractions have been a feature in Priory Park since 2013 but the event didn’t go ahead last year after the council and the Matthews Organisation were unable to agree on a site within the park.

The council wanted the grass on the Bell Street side to have a rest, but the Matthews Organisation didn’t think that an alternative location by the tennis courts would work, based on their past experience.

Damage to the grass (sometimes lasting into late spring) has proved controversial in recent years, although it is in fact the council which decides when and how to carry out ground restoration, with the Matthews Organisation just picking up the bill.

The same arrangement will apply this year, with the council saying on Twitter:

“We’ve taken advice from turf specialists and London’s Winter Wonderland and will be using some of the same ground care methods to avoid a repeat of previous issues.

Our Greenspaces team will assess the site before and after the event (as usual). The cost of any repairs will be met by the organisers as part of their contract.”

Many residents on social media expressed their disappointment at the absence of Reigate on Ice last year, the event having become part of their family Christmas tradition.  Others highlighted the extra trade brought into the town by the rink, along with seasonal jobs.

In previous years the event has supported charities, including a private session for children with brain injuries, and held a free firework show on the same day as the Reigate Christmas Fayre.

 

(Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay)