Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland to remain in city centre

March 18, 2011 5 Comments »
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland to remain in city centre

winter wonderland

Calls for the city centre Winter Wonderland to move to Cardiff Bay have been rejected by council leaders.

A proposal put forward by the council’s economic group suggested the wonderland – which includes an ice rink and big wheel – could alternate between the centre and the Oval Basin.

Coun Nigel Howells, executive member for leisure and culture, said: “We have considered moving it but we feel it is an established attraction in the city centre which brings in tens of thousands of people every year.

“We had looked into other locations within the city centre but none suit the needs of the event better than where it is now.

“We know we need to do more to bring more events and people to the Bay, but keep the cost to the council low.”

Last year’s Winter Wonderland – the 10th to take place – saw a record 65,000 skaters using the Admiral Open Air ice rink outside City Hall.

Where do you think Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland should be? Vote in our poll below

Alun Owens, chair of the Cardiff Bay Waterfront Partners who represent businesses in the area, said: “We would support any plans to alternate the winter wonderland, anything that brings more people to the Bay is good news.

“We’re already working on a number of ideas for this winter to increase the number of visitors to Cardiff Bay. One of them is to have a Christmas Market and to make a bigger deal of it.

“It would run for five days and finish with a firework display. We’re working closely with the council to try and make sure this happens.”

Coun Adrian Robson, who helped create the report into how to improve Cardiff Bay, said: “We spoke to a number of businesses in Cardiff Bay and they all felt the winter events programme wasn’t strong enough.

“One example we came up with was whether the winter wonderland could be moved to the Oval Basin – or maybe we could look at spreading out the winter events programme.

“It certainly can be a very bleak area during the winter months, especially if the weather is bad and that’s not good for businesses.”

David Hughes-Lewis, chair of the Cardiff Retailers Association, said he would not support any move to Cardiff Bay.

He said: “It’s well established in the city centre and I don’t think the connections with the Bay are good enough yet. I can’t see that many people going in the evenings during the winter.

“I would like to see the Winter Wonderland move to a more central location in the city centre though.”

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  1. Lucas Howell March 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    The Winter Wonderland is quoted as generating tens of thousands of pounds, but what is the cost of bringing back to life the area around the civic centre after the Winter Wonderland has gone? The Oval Basin has no grass to destroy!?

  2. Ed Walker March 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your comment Lucas, interesting point. We've actually got a Freedom of Information request in on that very topic – so keep an eye on the blog when we find out the details.

  3. peoplefirst March 19, 2011 at 11:26 am - Reply

    “We know we need to do more to bring more events and people to the Bay, but keep the cost to the council low.” says the council .. Then promote the Bay Bus and have ONE Route… Why does the council think it has to promote and control ALL events in the City & Bay? In these new and interesting financial times perhaps the council should stick to running the city and set up a cost neutral "Live Cardiff" Ltd company to promotes ALL events in the City & Bay and maybe include input from an investment bank to underwrite new events.

  4. Nate C March 20, 2011 at 1:51 am - Reply

    If they want to close down the City Centre and move everything to Cardiff Bay then they should just do it. There can't continue to be this divide between the two, both fighting for the big attractions.
    They need to have their own attractions, each have their own draws – you can't take one successful attraction and use it to bring crowds at the detriment of the other.

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