Thursday, May 13, 2010
Kensington or Fairfield SHOULD have a new ice rink
The poll has now closed and a clear majority were in favour of a new ice rink for Kensington or Fairfield.
118 voted yes, 60 voted no (and most of those were probably political opponents who thought it was amusing to vote no because they had no idea it was a serious poll), but still it is a majority of 2:1
There are 204 members of the FB group Bring back the Ice Rink to Kensington and Fairfield for 2012. And 6200 members of the FB group Campaign for an ice rink on Merseyside, so there is no shortage of interest.
So, is it all a pipe dream? Why was I asking anyway?
A social enterprise has been established, RINK, to work on plans to bring an ice rink to the area. Working with that social enterprise, I have joined visits to ice rinks in Deesside, Altrincham in Manchester and London (Alexandra Palace - the Ally Pally, pictured). At each rink we met with managers and talked about capital costs and about revenue/operating costs, budgets, people management, ice management, site management, ice time, provision for different skating groups etc. We are clear from that research that once built and opened a rink would be profitable and self-sustainable. If it were run as a social enterprise profits would return to the rink and to the surrounding community to fund other projects - like full time community radio for instance, or youth service provision, apprenticeships, healthy food cafe etc.
What we need is the capital to start the project - and some land. RINK hopes to speak to a few major landowners in the area soon and also have made some provisional enquiries of funds like the Future Builders.
We have also had an expression of interest from an existing company to build a commercial rink in Liverpool but we would prefer to exhaust the possibility of a social enterprise first, before going down that line, so that more benefits could accrue to the neighbourhood.
It is still very early days. If you are interested, do please join our FB group.
Thanks for voting in the poll!