Mansfield’s ‘winter wonderland’ ice rink on Market Place lost the council a net cost of more than £80,000, figures have revealed.
At a meeting of the full council at Mansfield District Council, Labour members challenged executive mayor Kate Allsop to break down the costs of the ice rink and whether she thought it was “value for money”.
It was revealed that ice rink cost £137,062 for the 31 days it was in place in the town centre, with the council receiving a total of £19,954 in sponsorship from One Call Insurance, Four Seasons and other organisations towards the rink itself.
The attraction made £25,527 in ticket sales and reportedly increased car parking receipts by four per cent, or £8,000, with about 7,000 more people visiting the town centre during Christmas than 2017.
The overall net cost of the ice rink was £81,182 to the council, after parking income, and Mrs Allsop has suggested that the council will continue to “look for ways to better support town centre businesses” in the run up to next Christmas.
She said: “The ice rink is being fully evaluated to assess the impact and benefit to the town centre, and to trading in the run up to Christmas.
“This report will be made available to everybody once it has been completed, including feedback from members of the public.
“I have spoken with Mansfield BID and had mostly positive feedback.
“With regard to value of money, if attracting people into the town centre is the goal and supporting local businesses, then I think we have achieved that.
“All initiatives when we first start them start smaller, and they have to grow to reach their full potential.”
However Labour councillors reacted negatively to the figures, suggesting that the project was “doomed to failure” from the start.
Councillor Andy Wetton, Labour member for Meden, suggested that the figures are “unfair” on Warsop.
He said: “Meden and Warsop has suffered since the leisure centre closure, which this council did to save £80,000.
“It seems ironic now that the council has just lost the same £80,000 figure on the ice rink.
“It’s a shame the people of Warsop have suffered to save £80,000 for the sake of a one month vanity project that we now need to claw back.”