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Closure fear over roller skating rink
8:00am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
A SKATING rink could be forced to close after insurance costs rocketed from £2,800 to £12,000.
Dovercourt Roller Skating has been hit with the increase after a child broke his ankle and his family sued. Insurers settled out of court, but a year’s cover has risen by £9,200.
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes leases the rink from Tendring Council and member John Brown believes the site’s future is in doubt. He said: “This claim has killed us. None of us gets paid to be here and open it up. Myself and other trustees have had to dip into our own pockets to get us through tricky periods.
“We would like to hear from any potential local benefactors who could help us stay open. We need about £5,000 to keep open through the winter until March, when we can start making more regular money, but beyond that we will need more.’’ The rink reopened two years ago after a £33,000 revamp. It had been disused for five years.
Before that, it had served the town for more than 50 years, having opened in 1947.
Mr Brown, 61, said the site, in Lower Marine Parade, was crucial for the town and gave children something to do, especially during school holidays.
He said: “It is very popular. We only charge £4 for a day, including skate rental, and offer refreshments at a cheap rate.
“In the summer, we have kids here from 10.30am until 6pm and we tend to open whenever there is demand. People come from Frinton, Colchester and even Ipswich.
“We have opened for clubs or schools to use it at a flat rate and would be willing to do that again. We really want to encourage people to use it, or we probably won’t be open much longer.”
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