Salisbury Business Improvement District

Get your skates on for Salisbury Guildhall Square’s first ever REAL ice rink

25th September 2018

Salisbury’s picturesque Guildhall Square is to host its first ever REAL ice rink for locals and visitors to enjoy this Christmas.

The temporary rink will be situated alongside the popular Salisbury Christmas Market, with both opening on Thursday 29 November.

Featuring real ice and extending to 240 sq m (2,582 sq ft), the rink is intended to add to the festive appeal of the market and accompanying seasonal events.

A marquee cover will help to guarantee skaters an outdoor activity the British weather can’t spoil.

The rink is an initiative of the Salisbury BID, the business-led organisation who already organise the Christmas market.

BID Chief Executive Robin McGowan said: “We are thrilled to announce that an ice rink is coming to the city this Christmas.

“It’s not been an easy challenge, but the BID team have worked really hard to make it happen.

“It is another festive family-friendly attraction that will appeal to people of all ages - residents and visitors alike. We’re encouraging businesses, schools and groups to get involved and organise a visit.

“The rink will be a real draw in the picturesque surroundings of Guildhall Square and we’re confident people will come out to support and enjoy it.”

Tickets will be available to pre-book from mid-October.

The ice rink is expected to create eight temporary job roles and has been made possible through a successful application by the BID to the government’s recovery fund set up to support Salisbury following the March incident.

The BID has already used recovery fund money to offer a 30% discount on retail chalet rent at the Christmas market to traders based within 20-miles of the city centre.

To accommodate the space required by the rink, the market will be extended from the Guildhall Square with some chalets positioned along pedestrianised Queen Street.

The BID is also organising a free programme of live music, from a trailer stage in the Guildhall Square, with acts to be announced.

Performances will be staged on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and Saturday afternoons, from 29 November.

The Christmas market finishes on Sunday 23 December but the ice rink will stay open until Sunday 6 January, closed only for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Other seasonal events being organised by the BID include a Nutcracker Trail for families and children. It will involve ten giant nutcrackers being positioned throughout the city centre with an activity booklet and chance to enter a prize draw. The winner will receive a £250 Salisbury Gift Card.

Last year’s Salisbury Christmas market was the biggest in the event’s seven-year history. It attracted more than 200,000 people during an extended run and was voted one of the country’s top ten markets. Altogether, more than a million people visited Salisbury in December 2017.