One of the centrepieces of Edinburgh's Christmas Celebrations, the ice rink in Princes Street Gardens, has been secured, Edinburgh City Council announced today.
Last year's rink operators ran up losses during the extreme weather last year and were unwilling to risk further losses this year. A deal to save the temporary rink was secured days before the announcement of Edinburgh's Christmas 2011 programme (it is due to be unveiled tomorrow, 8 November).
Edinburgh's ice rink is to be delivered, built and managed by a new operator M&D Leisure, who are already contracted by the Council to provide the Edinburgh Wheel, Flying Carousel, Helter Skelter and Traditional Carousel in East Princes Street Gardens.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations really light up the city during the festive season, drawing many thousands of people to enjoy the attractions and shop in the city centre.
"It was touch and go whether there would be an ice rink included in this year's programme - I'm pleased that we've managed to reach an agreement that will allow it to go ahead and we are grateful to Essential Edinburgh and other private sector contributors for their support. I know this news will be warmly welcomed not just by skaters, spectators and traders, but also by retailers and businesses in the surrounding area."
Nickie Gott, Managing Director of She's Gott It!, said: "The ice rink has been central to Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations for over a decade and it is great news that we have been able to continue to delight visitors and the people of Edinburgh.“
Douglas Taylor, managing director of M&D Leisure, said: “After many years of working with the City of Edinburgh Council, M&D Leisure is excited to be delivering an even bigger and better part of Edinburgh’s Christmas experience.”