Derby Market Place welcomes The Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink in partnership with Derby LIVE, Derby City Council and Christmas Ice Rinks and supported by Redrow Homes East Midlands to light up the City Centre this Christmas.

The ice rink attracts around 20,000 visitors to Derby City Centre during the festive season and to make sure everyone has a great experience, laying and maintaining the rink takes specialist skills and knowledge. This is why there is a team of workers preparing the ice rink over a period of two weeks in advance of its opening. The team also undertake regular maintenance to make sure the rink remains in perfect condition for Derby’s skaters.

The ice rink is like a giant snooker table and it is essential when the rink is laid that there is a level base, with lots of legs to support it. Once the base is ready, a giant waterproof sheet is laid down which has to be specially made to cover an area of 92 by 46 feet. Pipes are then laid on the top similar to those you find at the back of your fridge, but on a different scale. Water is then poured to a depth of four to five inches and frozen to reach temperatures of minus 10 to 12°c.

Derby is fortunate to have the expertise of Christmas Ice Rinks Ltd to look after its ice rink, their rigorous maintenance regime ensures that when recent unseasonably warm weather has forced other rinks around the country to close, Derby’s ice rink has remained open throughout the festive period. After every couple of sessions the team get out huge scrapers to clear any water or excess frost that has been thrown up by the skaters ensuring a sound surface for every session.

Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Derby City Council, said:

“The Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink is always a phenomenal success for the City during the festive period. The Ice Rink is incredibly popular with Derby residents as well as providing a valuable draw to thousands more visitors to the city centre. We are very happy to work with our partners to provide such a popular and successful attraction for residents and visitors alike.”

Alongside the Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink, the Christmas Arts and Craft Fair will also be returning to the Market Place until Sunday 9th December and again from Wednesday 19th December to Sunday 23 December. Offering a wide range of products from local traders and small business, this is the perfect place to find that different Christmas gift.

The Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink will be open until Sunday 6th January and tickets are priced from £7.50 – £9.50 with concessions typically available from £5.50 – £8 to over 60s, under 16s, students, unemployed and disabled people.

Information and tickets are available from Derby LIVE on 01332 255800, online at derbylive.co.uk or at the Sales and Information Centre, Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AH (advance booking is recommended). Tickets also can be purchased at an on-site Ice Rink Box Office when the rink is open.

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