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Attendance at Solihull Ice Rink has risen dramatically as a result of the enormous interest in the celebrity ice dancing television series and the winter Olympics.

Last month 34,000 people visited the ice rink – 12,300 more than in February 2005 – and ‘learn to skate’ classes are so popular that an additional course has had to be introduced on Sundays.

Gordon Kirk, general manager of the 1,500-capacity ice rink, said: “Attendance in February was up by more than 50 per cent and at weekends and every day of the school holidays we have been running to capacity. March has seen a continuation of this increased popularity.

“February is usually a very busy month because of the half-term holiday and people wanting to do indoor rather than outdoor activities. But it went absolutely crazy when the television series was on and with the Olympic ice skating in the middle of it. The sudden huge rise in popularity has created an exciting atmosphere on the ice rink which is continuing to bring people in now that the OIympics have finished.

“The largest operator of ice rinks in the country has said that generally attendance is 30 per cent up and we have exceeded that.”

St Modwen Properties, owners of the ice rink which forms part of Blue Ice Plaza, is undertaking a rolling programme of upgrading the facilities, having recently completed £200,000 worth of improvements which included creating a new entrance and providing more restaurant space.

Issued on behalf of St Modwen Properties (0121 222 9400) by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 236 7771).