Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Town ice rink consultation ends

An artist's impression of the proposed ice rink at Kings Park
An artist's impression of the proposed ice rink at Kings Park

A public consultation over plans for a new Olympic-sized ice rink in Bournemouth has ended.

More than 1,800 people have returned questionnaires to Bournemouth Borough Council about the ice rink, which could be built in King's Park.

Other facilities would include an indoor football pitch, an indoor surfing facility, an archery centre, mini golf, climbing wall and café.

The council identified King's Park as the most suitable site.

It has received support with 12-year-old Ria Herridge and her friends gathering a 3,000-signature petition.

Ria, from Highcliffe, harbours ambitions to become an Olympic ice skater.

At the moment she has to make a two-hour round trip to Gosport, in Hampshire, to fit in training after school.

Finding a space that is affordable and big enough was difficult
Michael Rowland
Bournemouth Borough Council

"I want it because it's not just for me it's for everyone," she told BBC Radio Solent.

"Lots of people have to travel to get to an ice rink. It's nine o'clock before I get back at night."

But Bert Burnell has campaigned against it being sited in King's Park.

"There's a lack of activities for people in Bournemouth and an ice rink would be brilliant but it will take up a large part of King's Park, which people will never get back.

"A lot of people have got whipped up with excitement, but when they think abut the long-term implications people start to change their minds.

"The Winter Gardens would be an ideal location."

The ice rink would include seating for 2,500 spectators and would be funded by a private developer.

Michael Rowland, the green space officer for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "We are open to lots of ideas.

"But we came up with King's Park because, talking to people who operate ice rinks they don't work too well as a stand alone venture.

"You tend to need to cluster a bunch of things together and that means you need more space.

"Finding a space that is affordable and big enough was difficult."

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