Numbers wind up Ice Space

Ice Space, the £1.5m visitor attraction launched by two industry entrepreneurs has gone into liquidation and closed its doors less than four weeks after its opening night party.

Ice Box managing director Phillip Hughes and former director of staffing agency Esprit Peter Pallai opened the ice venue adjacent to Tower Bridge on 26 April. A triple-skinned temporary structure housed 200 tonnes of ice at a regulated temperature of minus-five degrees.

Attractions for visitors and corporate event organisers included an ice art gallery, performance art and ice bars. There was also an ice-skating rink.

Although corporate bookings were believed to be strong, most events weren't planned until early July.

The expected 10,000 visitors a week turned into 9,000 visitors during the first three weeks and running costs, estimated at around £180,000, a week meant the venue's fate was sealed.

Hughes said: "Our expectations were not unrealistic and we're extremely proud of the operational standards we had in place. The reality is, however, that without a major sponsor underwriting as well as promoting the project, plus running costs that doubled almost over night, we could not survive with the numbers that were coming through the doors."

Ice Space is a collective of 10 shareholders but Hughes is keen to stress that Ice Box was not one of them.

Instead, Ice Box is believed to be the project's largest creditor with debts somewhere in the region of £200,000. Other creditors include Red Bull, Kremly Vodka and Capital Radio.

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