Business organisation Aberdeen Inspired welcomed a very special visitor as it officially launched its outdoor ice rink in Union Terrace Gardens.
Oliver Constant, an ARCHIE Foundation ambassador, along with his mother Anne and two sisters, Hannah and Holly, were the first to don their skates and take to the rink to mark its opening.
Oliver and his family have been receiving support from The ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and were able to try their hand at a spot of ice hockey on the new rink with members of the popular Aberdeen Lynx ice hockey team.
The rink, in a new location this year within the gardens, will be open from noon to 8pm each day between now and January 4. Admission will cost £3 per person, including skate hire, with that entire entry fee being donated by Aberdeen Inspired to the children’s charity.
The attraction forms part of a programme of Christmas events devised by the business organisation as it aims to meet its goal of increasing footfall to the city centre alongside contributing to Aberdeen’s Winter Festival offering.
Gary Craig, Aberdeen Inspired’s chief executive, said:
“The ice rink was such a success last year that we’ve brought it back again alongside extending the length of time it is within the city centre to allow even more people to enjoy it over the festive holidays.
“The rink will offer fun and sparkle in the run up to Christmas and New Year and we’d encourage friends and families, from Aberdeen and the north-east, to come down, don a pair of skates and get into the festive spirit.
“We’re delighted that the rink is in a new home this year within Union Terrace Gardens, adding a fresh feel alongside allowing businesses in a different part of the zone to benefit from the positive impact that an attraction such as this can bring to the area.”
David Cunningham, chief executive of The ARCHIE Foundation, said:
“This is an amazingly generous gesture from the businesses of the BID district and Aberdeen City Council. The ice rink is very popular and great fun, and now every skater will be helping The ARCHIE Foundation to make a real difference for the sick children of the north east and northern isles, over the festive season and in the future, through our ‘High 10 for ARCHIE’ appeal.
“They can’t all say thank you individually, but on their behalf we can and we are all extremely grateful.”
Spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired, the ice rink has been brought to the city centre in partnership with Aberdeen City Council which has contributed £30,000 to the total cost of £132,000. The council has also contributed a further £42,500 towards additional festive activities within the area.
This total, coupled with Aberdeen Inspired’s £102,000 contribution towards the ice rink, marks a significant investment by both organisations into this year’s festive line-up of events.
Lord Provost George Adam said:
“Thanks to partnership working residents and visitors to the city will enjoy an array of festive activities which compliment Aberdeen’s Winter Festival.
“I am delighted to see the ice rink return as it was such a huge success last year. Aberdeen City Council is delighted to lend its support.”
The ice rink is the main highlight of a comprehensive programme of events by Aberdeen Inspired, with a line-up of festive films at the Belmont Filmhouse, alongside a range of activities to be run in tandem with the rink in Union Terrace Gardens all being made available for those visiting the city centre and BID zone throughout December.
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district and driving footfall to the zone.
For further information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired visit www.aberdeeninspired.com
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