Our plan to open a permanent, self funded public community ice rink in Poole/Bournemouth.
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We are a passionate, dedicated group of skaters - ice and inline - including Ice hockey, figure, freestyle, speed skaters and coaches who are researching the viable potential of operating a medium sized 'not for profit', self sustaining, permanent, indoor ice rink/multi event facility in southern Dorset. It would be a modest start up, building a quality, fully environmentally conditioned 'ice slab' within an existing property, thus eliminating the requirement for planning permission and costly construction expense. In the absence of suitable properties, we will look to source a piece of land of suitable area upon which to erect a building to accommodate the rink, hence early preliminary meetings with local councils.
Whilst early days, this is an 'Expression of Interest' petition so we can gather numbers, form a true indication of whether this would be welcomed in this area and gauge the potential success of such a community project.
We are researched, knowledgeable and have the support of some very experienced ice rink professionals and coaches. We would look to utilise the very latest technology and refrigeration mediums, remaining environmentally conscious and highly efficient throughout all seasons. Being skaters ourselves, we value quality skates and equipment which is why we would select the best in recreational skates, ensuring even the first experience on the ice would be an amazing and comfortable one. Helpful, friendly, dedicated and fully qualified staff in all aspects would be on hand at all times giving parents real security and peace of mind regarding their children.
We strongly feel that this would create a great social and sporting environment for our children, their families and the communities at large and hugely benefit the area. It would reintroduce some exciting and dynamic sports to not only locals but visiting tourists/sports people who can enjoy and utilise the facility all year round. The last full time rink at Westover Road closed over 25 years ago after operating successfully for over 60 years. How great would it be to bring back the Bournemouth Stags, Bucks, Hounds and Terriers ice hockey teams to their own home rink? This would be some time off, but from humble beginnings, it could happen with enough support.
The sports of ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling are already Olympic events and with other 'summer' based sports which have a huge following in this country, many would like to see support and promotion of these other winter type sports, which are so popular and thriving in other countries around the world. Let's get our kids involved in something new and exciting and create a diverse social meeting point for them, encouraging fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
A project of this kind requires funding and whilst we are drawing up a strong business model with which to support the operation, we would be looking to limit investment to the minimum required, to cover start up costs, whilst also crowd funding certain elements. We would then aim to grow the facility into a self sustaining and profitable asset allowing internal growth of the company.
We would like to see a rink in our area where the whole family can not only enjoy recreational sessions, but teams and individuals can skate and train in their chosen sports at a fair price, for a decent amount of time whenever they want and not just go around in circles, anticlockwise. Where coaches can run classes/lessons throughout the day and night and school parties, charitable organisations and clubs can visit, anytime. There are many off ice activities planned to be operated within the venue to assist in revenue generation, as well as a quality cafe/restaurant managed and operated in house.
I reiterate that, if successful, this would be a non profit venture, for the community, with all capital being directed back into running the facility. Whilst this is an ambitious vision and we can't promise the earth, we'd like to see a permanent, quality ice rink in our area again if at all possible.
We really appreciate your consideration and support and welcome any inputs you may like to share. Please sign up and share on social media if this is something you'd like to see happen.
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