Norwich Ice Rink takes shape at Castle Mall Gardens

The marquee and lights are up at the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News Ice Rink. Picture:

The marquee and lights are up at the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News Ice Rink. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Anyone wandering through Norwich city centre may have noticed an unusual addition to the landscape in the Castle Mall Gardens.

A glistening marquee has been erected in the grounds, as the Norwich Ice Rink - sponsored by at Jack and the Beanstalk at the Norwich Theatre Royal - rapidly approaches completion, ahead of its opening next week.

Following the laying of the flooring, which will home the real ice of the skating rink, a marquee has been erected around the skating space.

And now, lights have been strung up for a magical affect around the area.

Malcolm Powles is the owner of Victoria Marquees, based in Wymondham.

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He has had work from putting up marquees on sandy beaches for restaurant venues, to wedding marquees for the infamous TV show 'Don't Tell the Bride.'

But, he said he has never had a job quite like this.

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'Every job gives you certain challenges,' he added.

'But this is the only ice rink we've ever done. A big challenge is getting the whole thing up in one day. The marquee is 12 metres by 36 metres, and weighs about twenty tonnes.

'Last year's weighed about 15 tonnes, but as the rink is another 100sq m bigger, it's added more weight to the structure.'

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Other ice rinks have been left open to the air, however the staff at the Norwich Ice Rink, which this year is sponsored by Jack and the Beanstalk at the Norwich Theatre Royal, realised some protection from the elements wouldn't go amiss at the exposed site.

'It just keeps the space more sheltered,' Mr Powles continued.

'And it keeps the ice in better condition. If it rains, or even snows, that can not only be horrible for skaters without a roof, but it's also bad for the ice.'

Maryrisa Chappell is in charge of the Norwich Ice Rink. She said: 'With the lights up at the venue now and the ice going in over the weekend, it's all really starting to come together!

'We've also got our team sorted, and pre-booked tickets have sold so quickly! We're so excited now to meet everyone that will be joining us at the rink.'

Deals for skaters on the ice rink

Skaters are being offered a range of deals in the run-up to the grand opening of the Norwich Ice Rink on Friday, December 16.

The rink has launched a loyalty card, kids' skating offer, a bus ride discount, and a group booking offer.

A Kids Skate Free deal will appear in the EDP and Norwich Evening News all week.

The discount code, which can be booked online from Monday-Sunday, will guarantee £8 off a family skating ticket.

Keen skaters will be pleased to hear that after visiting the rink four times, they'll be able to skate for free on the fifth occasion, thanks to the launch of a loyalty card.

Also there is a great deal for people travelling to the rink by bus, thanks to a High5 group travel ticket for £8.

And those booking for a large group can save some money too, thanks to a 10pc off groups booking for 10 people or more.

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