Date: 
Friday, December 3, 2010 - 11:28

The ice rink at the Eden Project is set to re-open on Friday December 17 after being damaged in last month’s severe flooding.

The Eden site at Bodelva near St. Austell was one of hundreds of businesses and households in mid Cornwall affected by the flood on November 17.

The Eden Project was closed to visitors for a week as staff worked around the clock to repair damaged areas, including the main Visitor Centre and the Core education building.

The rink and the eating areas between the two Biomes were worst affected but after major repairs and testing this week, the project is confident that the rink will be ready for skating in a fortnight.

Eden’s managing director Gaynor Coley said today: “We’re really pleased to be able to announce that skating will be back a month after it was put out of action.

“When the floodwater came in, it lifted up the ice and damaged the rink's infrastructure. The team has worked extremely hard to fix it in time for the school holidays and Christmas.

“We wanted to give a clear signal that Cornwall is open for business when we welcomed visitors back a week after the floods. Now the reopening of the rink will help strengthen that signal in time for the Christmas holiday period.”

From December 17 onwards, the Eden ice rink will be open everyday and some evenings throughout the festive period, apart from Christmas Eve and Day when Eden is closed. Each 40-minute skating session costs £5 on top of the entry fee.

The evening openings are on Friday and Saturday, December 17 and 18, and every night from Monday, December 27, to Thursday, December 30. Eden is open until 9pm on these dates with the last skating session at 8pm. For rink opening times in the new year, visit www.edenproject.com.

Visitors can enjoy the rink's new design this year, inspired by Eden's mining heritage and the Cornish Alps – the colloquial name for the area’s china clay tips. The set was created by local artist Ellie Williams who worked with communities in the clay country area to come up with the striking imagery.

There are special rink activities for the whole family during the Christmas holidays, when children have free entry to Eden as part of a family group.

For parents and toddlers, ice playtime is a chance for under-fives to play on the rink without skates. As long as children can walk unaided on the ice and be accompanied by an adult they can take part (maximum one adult per child and one adult can supervise up to two children).

The sessions take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning and cost £2.50 per child.

Chilly penguins is a skating session involving activities and toys for six to 12-year-olds. These are £5 a session and are for children only on Sundays from 11am to 12.30pm.

For a fun night out, skaters can bring a friend for free from 7pm to 8pm on every evening the rink is open. Bookings for this offer should be made through the Box Office.

The return of the ice rink coincides with Eden's sparkling winter season which features a host of festive activities including lantern processions, carols sung by Cornish choirs and delicious seasonal food.

On every evening Eden is open late there’ll be lantern parades, twinkling lights, Cornish choirs, a giant Christmas tree and beautiful fire sculptures.

Because of the week's closure due to the floods, Eden has extended the Locals for a Fiver offer to Thursday 23 December. All residents of Cornwall and Devon can come in for £5 and visit for free for the rest of the year. They just need to bring proof of residency (for example a utility bill) and photographic ID.

For all bookings, ticket prices and full opening times for skating and more over the Christmas period, visit www.edenproject.com or ring the Box Office on 01726 811972.