CHICHESTER’s ice rink opened on Saturday, with a private opening the previous afternoon.
Members of the public have begun to skate in the icy wonderland, created by S3K limited.
The Duke of Richmond officially opened the rink on Friday, which saw many people having a look around the temporary structure.
The ice rink has been the subject of controversy over the past few weeks with residents in the city saying Priory Park is not the right location for a number of reasons including damage to the grass and noise.
Despite the issues, Edward White, who is running the festive attraction, has worked with Sussex Police to adhere to specific conditions regarding age appropriate wristbands and serving of alcoholic beverages.
At Chichester’s District Council’s alcohol and entertainment sub-committee, Mr White also agreed to delay the serving of alcohol until 11.30am every day, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
For those wishing to take part in skating, the under-cover, iced area is big enough for more than 100 guests to skate on there are food huts including a grill, a bar and Priory Park’s own Fenwick’s Cafe. There is also a soft play area for toddlers and seating both inside and out for spectators.
Mr White told the Chichester Post he was pleased the ice rink was now open and is looking to return next year.
He said: “It’s the end of a very tough journey to bring, what is effectively joy, to a city that needs it.
“I think there is a huge amount of support from the people who want to see it here and there is a minority of people who don’t want to see it here, but the park was given to the people of Chichester to enjoy so I think it fits perfectly and that is why I continued the battle.
“This is a long-term project but the location is not fixed. There is other things to discuss, not just the residents but what might work best for us. My interest is to make people happy and enjoy it, make friends and not enemies.”
The rink is open daily, except Christmas Day, until January 6. Tickets, from £9 each, can be bought online or on the gate.
For more information or to book, visit: chice.uk