THE firm behind York’s annual Christmas ice rink is looking to provide extra entertainment when the festive attraction returns this year.
Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Limited, which operates the Ice Factor and the Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet, has applied to City of York Council for permission to set up a funfair and stalls again this Christmas.
It also wants an additional marquee at the shopping centre’s car park which the company said would be for entertainment, although exact details of what it would house have yet to be agreed.
The application also includes six rides, three games stalls, six log cabins and a food trailer, with the 900sqm rink itself having planning permission to continue operating for three more years.
Last Christmas, the Winter Wonderland and the Ice Factor helped draw 45,000 visitors to the Designer Outlet, with organisers saying national publications voted the rink one of the UK’s best.
The event was launched by Yorkshire Olympians Ed Clancy, Luke Campbell and Lizzie Armitstead.
In a letter to council planners, Lunchbox’s executive producer Maria Farrugia said: “As part of the desire to provide customers who come ice-skating with something more, a funfair and market stalls have been added to the event for the last two years, proving a huge success.
“This year, we would like to build on the success of an event bigger than the ice rink. All of the items [which have been applied for] are traditional in decoration and in keeping with the theme of the event, which will be run by the same team as last year.”
Some Naburn residents objected to the ice rink being switched to the Designer Outlet when planning approval was originally granted, citing concerns about noise, lighting and parking problems.
Lunchbox said the fair rides and additional marquee, if approved, would be powered by generators about 168 metres from the nearest home and these would be used between 10.30am and 9.30pm, as mains electricity was “not a valid option”.
The application said the fair’s noise levels would have to match those from the ice rink so volumes can be controlled, a system which meant no noise problems last Christmas, while all rides would have “low-level lighting”.