YORK’S ice rink looks set to have attracted 45,000 skaters by the time it shuts next month, despite the wet weather.

Maria Farrugia, executive producer at Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and organiser of the Ice Factor rink at York Designer Outlet, said about 25,000 people had already taken to the ice, and total visitor numbers looked likely to equal the record 46,000 set last Christmas.

She said the rink had been shut down by the weather on only one day, when it was hit by a combination of gales, high temperatures and heavy rain earlier this month.

Mike Thomas, centre manager of the Outlet at Fulford, said he had been delighted by the number of visitors since local Olympians had opened the rink in November as part of a Winter Wonderland, which also featured a funfair, Christmas market and Santa’s grotto.

“Working with the Ice Factor to produce such a wonderful atmosphere guarantees families a wonderful festive skating and shopping experience,” he said.

An analysis of visitors to the rink showed earlier this year that almost half came from outside North Yorkshire, bringing additional trade to the city.

The rink, now in its eighth year, was originally based in the Eye of York until complaints from officials at nearby York Crown Court about noise and disturbance, after which it relocated three years ago to the outlet, where there has been room for a much bigger skating surface.

Maria said the attraction, which closes on January 6, had been rated one of the best ice rinks nationwide by more than ten national publications.