Pierre leads the push to promote Planet Ice

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Polar bear power is being pressed into action to boost trade at Hemel Hempstead’s faded LeisureWorld complex.,

The Planet Ice skate centre has teamed up with nearby Pizza Hut to mount a promotional push to remind people that they’re still open for business, and mascot Pierre the polar bear has a key role to play.

He’ll be hitting the streets near the Jarman Park site, encouraging motorists to honk their support. Children who spot him can post details of their sighting on the Planet Ice Facebook page, with the prize of a free skating course up for grabs.

Bars and nightclubs on the site stand empty and a blueprint for a revamp is still on the drawing board.

Planet Ice general manager Kerstin Ginn, who has been part of the team since LeisureWorld opened in 1995, said: “It’s not been nice times for us. Seeing others close – it’s been soul destroying

“But we have always maintained a sturdy business here. I’ve always been confident that we will be the last man standing.”

Pizza Hut manager Anna Genovese stressed that while locals know Jarman Park is still open for business, customers further afield believe the whole complex has shut down.

The Aquasplash pool is currently closed for maintenance, but will be open again soon.

The annual Planet Ice Christmas Eve Skate with Santa Fun Day, where children can visit Santa’s grotto and ride his slay on the ice between 12pm and 3pm, aims to raise £500 for CLIC Sargent cancer charity. Visitors can also skate for free on Christmas Day between 10am and noon.