Get Your Skates On! Whitby to get its own real ice rink this winter

After over a year being in lockdown, social distancing and being and divided from each other, Whitby celebrates being back together this Winter.

By Louise Perrin
Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 4:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 10:45 am
Welcome to Whitby Winter Festival from the small town with a big heart
Welcome to Whitby Winter Festival from the small town with a big heart

The Whitby Winter Festival is a brand-new family focused festival running from November 26 2021 up until March 30 2022.

The festival was put together by the newly formed Welcome To Whitby (WTW), a community based company that was established to help Whitby and all the local businesses bounce back after the effects of the pandemic.

The festival itself is being completely run by volunteers.

The ice rink will be under cover to enable it to be used in all weathers

Spokesman for WTW, Andy Brown says “We wanted to provide something fun and engaging for the local community whilst also helping the businesses in the town have the opportunity to trade for a longer period.

"We hope everyone will enjoy the attractions being provided within the Whitby Winter Festival, and we also hope it will become an annual programme of events."

The centre piece of the festival is a full sized (10m x 15m) real ice-skating rink.

The real ice rink will be under the cover of a marquee on Endeavour Wharf, in the centre of Whitby for around 6 weeks over the Christmas period.

The ice rink will be centrally located on Endeavour Wharf

It is hoped that the ice rink will be a popular attraction to all, bringing in over 6,000 skaters across the festive period.

Restaurants such as The Star Inn The Harbour, headed by Michelin Star chef Andrew Pern, will all be getting involved in the festive food and drink markets that will be surrounding the ice rink.

Andrew said: "As a Whitby lad, I think the ice rink and the festival as a whole, is a great opportunity to bring all the family back to Whitby.

"They can come for some great food and wine alongside the rest of the fun. The feeling of togetherness is something we all need and what better time than at Christmas?"

A real ice rink is a major investment, and it is being mostly funded by a grant package provided by Yorkshire Coast Bid and Scarborough Borough Council.

Kerry Carruthers, Chief Executive for Yorkshire Coast BID, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting such a fantastic event for Whitby.

"The drive and passion that the organisers have to establish this event for the community and visitors following a tough 18 months, shaped our decision to support, and we are sure that it will be a great way to boost trade in the winter when visits to the area would typically start to slow down”.

Janet Deacon, Tourism and Culture Manager of Scarborough Council said: “It is fantastic that the “Welcome to Whitby businesses have come together along with the Council to deliver what will be an exciting programme of activity for the autumn and winter period.

"We at the Council are delighted to have supported this and look forward to working in partnership with the group on the project moving forward to support our businesses in bouncing back after what has been a difficult 18 months".

Cllr Jim Grieve, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Quality of Life said: “It’s fantastic that Welcome to Whitby businesses have come together to deliver an exciting

programme of activity for the autumn and winter period. We are delighted to offer our support to local businesses in bouncing back after what has been a very challenging 18 months.”

The Whitby Winter Festival is also being supported and sponsored by local companies, one such company being Whitby Seafoods.

Barry Harland, Head of Responsible Business at Whitby Seafoods said: “We thought that supporting the Winter Festival would be a really important thing to do as part of our community work this year.

"The challenges everyone has faced since early 2020 needs no explanation and we hope that having this event in the centre of Town will give local people something to enjoy and bring in new visitors to give local businesses a boost.

"The ice rink centre piece will be great fun for all age groups, and we look forward to seeing it bring a smile to people’s faces."

Andy Brown said: "The festival has been created around the theme of togetherness, and after the last eighteen months of social distancing and separation, it seems like a fitting time to bring people back together again to enjoy the festive period."