A campaign group behind a petition to keep a Fylde coast ice rink running has today vowed to fight on – after the venue closed its doors for the final time.
Parents and coaches watched on from the stands of the Jubilee Ice Arena, in Cleveleys, for the final time yesterday before the rink shut.
And Dancing on Ice star Dan Whiston and Karen Barber took their final training session on Saturday on a rink jam-packed with skaters.
But parents and relatives of those who use the venue, and who have launched their own bid to keep the facility going, have urged Wyre residents not to give up, and to add their names a petition to keep the site as an ice rink.
Carol Stanbridge, who is behind the drive, says she still remains hopeful and has not given up the fight of bringing skate lessons back to the Jubilee Ice Arena.
She said: “I have drawn up petitions and got plenty of signatures. Over the coming days, I will photocopy these and I am planning to send the petitions to Wyre Council.
“We are really disappointed about how it has turned out, it never had to end like this.” Dawn Hughes was one of those present for the last skate school on Saturday.
She said: “It was good to see Dan and Karen running a class with one of the Jubilee coaches.
“It’s just a bit sad that it will be the last one.”
The closure of the rink means 16 people will lose their jobs.
The closure comes just weeks after Blackpool Council approved a planning application for another ice rink, at the former TVR site in Bispham, less than three miles away.
Bosses at the Jubilee Ice Rink have said the decision was bound to affect them, but Blackpool Council hit back, saying the decision was made purely on planning grounds.
Mrs Stanbridge is now worried about the future of the ice rink and what problems it could still face after closing its doors to the public.
She said: “The building for now is locked and the company who owns the ice has told us that the owner has made no contact with them to get it removed.
“We are now worried that environmental agencies might get involve as dangerous chemicals are produced once it begins to melt.
“The removal job is huge and will need considerable sized trucks to take it away.”
Other users of the rink feel it had been deteriorating.
Skater Alan Steedman, from Blackpool, said: “The ice quality went from bad to worse - the numbers of skaters dwindled.
“I remember Saturday afternoons when there was at least 100 people in.
“Over the last six months you can have the place to yourself.”
However, Mrs Stanbridge said: “I have drawn up petitions and got signatures but over the coming days, once they are photocopied and I have built up numbers then I will send the petitions to both Wyre and Fylde councils.
“We are really disappointed about how it has turned out, it never had to end like this. Months ago we told him that we were willing to give up our own time to help.”
No one from the venue was available to comment.