Leyton News

New ice centre finally opening next month

The rebuilt Lee Valley Ice Centre was originally supposed to open last year

The keys for the centre were handed over today (credit: LVRPA)

A date has finally been set for the grand opening of the new and expanded Lee Valley Ice Centre, which was meant to open last year.

Today, it was announced that the new facility, which was granted planning permission in October 2020, will open its doors to the public on Saturday, 17th June.

This marks almost a year since the main structure of the new building, which is nearly double the size of the centre it replaced, was completed.

The ice centre is owned and run by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), who argued the rebuild was necessary because the old centre was too small and worn out after decades of use.

Environmental campaigners, however, have long opposed the expansion, which has meant encroaching further on the surrounding protected green space.

Plans for the new centre submitted in 2020 (credit: LVRPA)

In a post on Facebook, a LVRPA spokesperson said: “The keys to the new Lee Valley Ice Centre have officially been handed over to us. We will spend the next few weeks testing our systems and training staff to get the centre ready to welcome you all. This is a huge moment for us and we can’t wait to see you!”


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The new building boasts two Olympic-sized ice rinks, alongside a gym, dance studio and community spaces. While the previous centre was used by an average of 279,000 people a year by the time it closed for redevelopment, the LVRPA and Waltham Forest Council hope the new centre will attract over half a million people a year.

The new centre is also expected to boost the local economy by £1.5m every year and create 45 new jobs. However, previously, objectors to the rebuild warned it could become a “white elephant” if it didn’t pull in the promised visitors.

Two years ago, council leaders agreed to give LVRPA a £1million grant – split over five years – as they were “struggling to cover the peak debt during the construction phase, meaning the project may not go ahead”.

In return for the financial assistance, LVRPA will provide a 10-year programme of community benefits through the ice centre, including programmes for targeted crime prevention, mental health and wellbeing and biodiversity awareness.

Furthermore, the ice centre will offer work apprenticeships, tickets to local schools for a range of sports events and weekly sessions on the ice for under-represented groups.


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