Harrogate Ice Rink organiser responds to complaints
Last updated Jan 3, 2024

The company operating Harrogate Ice Rink has responded to complaints about the condition of the ice and slow refunds.

York-based Events by Cynosure is running the rink in collaboration with North Yorkshire Council tourism body Destination Harrogate.

It opened in Crescent Gardens on December 1 but adverse weather has led to its closure eight times since then – including today (January 2).

The rink’s Facebook page has received numerous critical comments from people who have struggled to get refunds. Others have complained about the wet surface.

One unhappy customer, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed the conditions were unsuitable for skating on December 20.

In a letter to the organisers seen by the Stray Ferret, he said:

“The ice and surface were extremely dangerous, wet, rippled and extremely slippery and not maintained and far from the standard of an ice rink.

“For example, no one was able to let go of the side rails and people left the ice…raising a significant health and safety issue.”

He said he asked to speak to a manager at about 6.40pm to voice his concerns about the state of the ice only to be told the manager had “left the site and was unavailable to speak to”, adding:

“Others were also raising the same concerns – staff were unable to assist and had no authority to provide refunds or offer solutions.”

In the same letter, he also said he later approached a staff member wearing “management” uniform (pictured below) who “denied being management and would not make comment”, while “watching football on his iPhone”.

The customer said the man pictured “denied being management”.

The man also claimed the quality of footwear was “extremely poor” and that “rusty blades” had not been maintained.

The man pictured his “rusty” skates.

He today told the Stray Ferret he has “heard nothing at all” since sending the letter on December 21.

Read more:

Others have also voiced concerns. Local resident Emma Alderson’s booking was cancelled on Christmas Eve following a yellow weather warning.

Events by Cynosure said the “safety of our skaters is priority” and “all tickets will remain valid until the 7th January should you wish to visit us after Christmas”. However, Ms Alderson has struggled to get a refund since. In a response to the company seen by the Stray Ferret, she wrote:

“Thank you so much for blocking me on the Facebook page. Why keep posting and not reply to people who are trying to rebook?

“Such a bad, poor and disgusting service you offer!”

Despite asking for a refund, Ms Alderson today said she has “had no update from them at all”.

Rink is ‘suitable to skate’

John Lowery, chief operating officer at Events by Cynosure, told the Stray Ferret it was “aware of complaints in regard to the ice rink”. Mr Lowery added:

“In regards to the ice rink being wet we have suffered like all outdoor ice rinks in the country from some of the warmest temperatures and heaviest rain with two named storms alone.

“At no time have we operated the rink when not suitable to skate. We have offered customers the opportunity to come back on another date if they attended when wet.

“Our technical team have worked through the nights etc to make it as good as possible.

“As for refunds these take up to 10 days from when requested and are being processed for any sessions that we have cancelled that the customer cannot change the date until.

“Due to holidays our office was closed over Christmas Day, Boxing Day but we can assure people will be refunded where entitled.”

Harrogate Ice Rink, which debuted in 2022, is part of a three-year deal between Events By Cynosure and Destination Harrogate.

It is set to run until Sunday, January 7, but with just two dry days forecast until then, the weather may continue to have an impact.