Eastbourne’s ice rink welcomed 17,000 visitors

Eastbourne’s ice rink welcomed more than 17,000 people across the Christmas period.

The attraction, which was the first real ice rink in the town for more than a decade, was open between December 1 and January 5.

A Your Eastbourne BID spokesperson said, “After a Christmas to forget in 2020 with tier systems and over three months in lockdown from Boxing Day, 2021 was filled with much more festive fun for our town centre.

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“The ice rink was situated just outside The Enterprise Shopping Centre, meaning anyone travelling on the train only had a 30-second walk to the rink.

Luke Johnson (left) and Stephen Holt (right) outside Eastbourne Winterland SUS-211126-140446001

“The response was phenomenal, with over 17,000 tickets sold both locally and to skaters from across the south.

“The ice rink also hosted Eastbourne’s first ever ice hockey game, with Eastbourne Edge playing in the inaugural match.”

Winterland was also set up alongside the ice rink – which hosted a range of local traders selling Christmas gifts, food and drinks.

Eastbourne boasted plenty of other festive activities during the Christmas period with Ratton School performing snippets of their Bugsy Malone show at the tree lighting ceremony by Banker’s Corner.

Eastbourne's ice rink. Picture from Your Eastbourne BID SUS-221201-120726001

The spokesperson said, “The Christmas tree boasted over 9,000 LED lights that created a huge array of magical displays, bringing the town centre to life along with the wonderful Christmas illuminations.”

Eastbourne’s Christmas market also returned to Terminus Road while the Victoria Place Christmas Fair was organised by traders.

This year the BID decided to organise a town centre Christmas window competition.

The Samaritans store in Grove Road won the festive challenge and received £750.

Eastbourne's Winterland. Picture from Your Eastbourne BID SUS-221201-120708001

The BID spokesperson said, “The Christmas cracker raffle made a welcomed return, offering people the chance to win hundreds of pounds of prizes just for shopping locally.

“Every time you shop locally, you are supporting someone’s livelihood and you are investing in the future of the town - everyone is a winner.”

CEO of Your Eastbourne BID Stephen Holt said, “We were delighted to welcome over 17,000 visitors to Eastbourne’s first ice rink in over a decade.

“We were lucky to be the centre of many family occasions, such as birthdays and even a marriage proposal!

Eastbourne's ice rink. Picture from Your Eastbourne BID SUS-221201-120808001

“We would like to thank everyone, whether you were a business that got involved, you bought tickets to the ice rink or you supported the local traders.”

Mr Holt also thanked Lightning Fibre for its help with the events.

The CEO added, “The Enterprise Centre was also instrumental in bringing the ice rink to town, thank you for letting us use your carpark for five weeks!

“You might have noticed all the penguins were sponsored by Booksy, meaning they wouldn’t have been there without their support. We know a good few thousand of you enjoyed having them.

“My thanks to everyone for their support and making this year such a success.

“The whole reason for this was to help support our high street. In 2022, let’s remember to love local, shop local.”

Eastbourne's tree lighting event SUS-210112-171211001