A REFURBISHED naval hangar at the Olympic Sailing venue will be transformed into an ice rink this December to provide festive fun for the community.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has announced that it will be hosting an artificial ice rink in its event hall from December 15 to 23.

Organisers have been delighted by the demand so far, as dozens of school parties and youth clubs have already made bookings for the activity, before it has been advertised.

Business manager at the sailing academy Chris Knight said: “We’re not designing this as a money spinner, it’s a community engagement activity.

“Hopefully it will be something really nice to do over the Christmas period in this area.

“We thought, we’ve got the facilities and we’re not too busy at that time of year, so why not do it?

“It’s going to open on December 15 and run until December 23, opening from lunchtime to early evening.

“We want to make it really festive and put up Christmas trees, lights and play music.”

The attraction could be an annual event at the not-for-profit sailing academy, which hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions.

Mr Knight said: “In the first year we’re going to keep it simple.

“In future years we may look to hosting stalls as well. We hope it will be a big attraction for children and families, we’ll be able to cater for children aged three years and up.”

Mr Knight encouraged school groups and youth clubs to take advantage of the discounted booking scheme for big parties and said prices started from £3.

He added: “We’ve already taken half a dozen bookings from local school groups, youth clubs and Castle Cove Cadet group and we haven’t advertised yet, that’s just through word of mouth and Facebook. We would encourage school and youth club bookings and local families to come down as well.”

Skates will be provided and an hour and a half booking will cost £7.50 per adult or £4.50 per child, with discounts for larger groups and club members.

To find out more call Claudia Webb on 01305 866000 or email claudia.webb@wpnsa.org.uk