Telford Ice Rink facing slide in visitor numbers
A fall in customer numbers at Telford Ice Rink has led to a downturn in income for the council, according to a new report.
The council-owned centre is making a profit but leisure services are £113,000 off target, according to a financial management report which was put before Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet at a recent meeting.
The report says measures are now being taken to try and find out the reason for the decline and boost visitor numbers.
The report by the council's assistant director for finance and HR, Ken Clarke, said: "Income shortfall at the Ice Rink due to a downturn in customers; further work is being undertaken to assess the reasons and the marketing plan is being reviewed to increase usage."
But Telford & Wrekin Council's finance chief, Councillor Lee Carter spoke at the cabinet meeting saying he was hopeful for the future.
He said: "The ice rink is not making a loss, it is making good money for this council.
"Not as much as we anticipated, but we're working hard to make sure we hit our targets, and we'll be exceeding those targets in the future I'm sure because we have a great team running it."
Telford & Wrekin Council's leader Shaun Davies said: "The ice rink doesn't just provide profit for this council, it provides leisure time for thousands of people right across the year.
"It's the home of the Telford Tigers, who bring a fantastic sport community to the ice.
"They bring a great pride to the town.
"I really am scared for the future of the Telford ice rink under Conservative control."
The ice rink temporarily closed for refurbishment to its ice pad last April.
The ice pad requires regular upkeep to prevent deterioration which can occur over time.
It was installed in 2013 and needs regular repainting to ensure it complies with the rules and regulations for ice hockey games.
Telford Ice Rink also made a surprise appearance on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway last year.
Around 8.5 million watched as the ice rink became one of four locations taking part in the Sofa Watch, in which viewers are challenged to identify and make their way down to sofas positioned at UK landmarks.
It led to more than 200 people making a dash for the leisure attraction.