THE final reunion to mark 25 years since Bournemouth's permanent ice rink shut its doors is taking place next month.

Organised by Mary Waygood and Michele Hartnett from The Westover Ice Rink - Memories Facebook group, the event takes place at the BIC's Rock Ice Rink on Saturday, January 9, at 7.15pm. It will feature a presentation of people's memories dating from the 1950s to the 1990s.

It is exclusively aimed at people who used the popular rink on Westover Road and has been arranged for what Mary says is the third and final time due to other personal commitments.

Mary said: "I created the Facebook group to get ex-skaters of the Westover Ice Rink together, but through that there is still a lot of interest for a permanent ice rink from the older generation in Bournemouth.

"From seeing the number of people on the outdoor ice rink in the gardens and the BIC ice rink, there is higher and higher demand for ice skating each year."

She said that the £50million West Central complex is currently being built off Exeter Road, boasting restaurants, shops and a cinema, but Bournemouth Council have failed to find a backer for an permanent ice rink.

"The council need to encourage more people to be health conscious. Even wheelchair users can go on the ice rink. It would be all inclusive for people from all backgrounds."

Cllr Lawrence Williams, portfolio holder for Tourism, Leisure and the Arts, said that due to the current economic climate, they have so far been unable to attract a suitable developer or operator for a permanent rink.

"The council is open to working with the private sector to provide a new permanent ice facility for Bournemouth. Land at Kings Park has been earmarked as a suitable site for this development and the Council secured outline planning permission in October 2010 but this has now expired.

"The council is currently not in discussions with anyone despite interested parties showing an interest in the past to develop the site but this has not led to a viable proposal.

"At a time when the Council’s finances are under severe pressure, we need to ensure that any proposals are economically viable and can be developed and operated without subsidy."

Tickets costing £6 per person for skaters or £1 for spectators which are available by emailing