Lee Valley Regional Park Authority have agreed a plan to carry out £500,000-worth of repairs to Lee Valley Ice Centre in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton.
The repairs will close Lee Valley Ice Centre from 12 July to 4 September. They have been planned for the venue’s quietest period and include the construction of a new ice pad – the actual skating surface, a new cooling system and a new rink barrier.
The works are needed to safeguard the short term future of the hugely popular 32 year old venue which is open up to 19 hours a day, seven days a week. The venue draws around 370,000 visits from the local community and from across London and further afield with a packed programme of public skating, community and national programmes.
The Authority is investigating Lee Valley Ice Centre’s long term future with an aspiration to create a modern exemplar twin ice rink on the existing site in Lea Bridge Road. This would provide opportunities for future generations to enjoy ice skating and other ice activities, deal with the huge demand for ice in the area, help regenerate this area of Waltham Forest and be a new world class centre for the capital and the region.
The repairs are planned to keep the current ice centre fully functioning until any possible new venue would begin construction, which could potentially be in the next two years.
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive Shaun Dawson said: “This repair work at Lee Valley Ice Centre is essential to safeguard the 32 year old venue for the next two years while we continue to work on its long term replacement.
“The repairs will unfortunately mean that Lee Valley Ice Centre will close for eight weeks, but we have planned the work for the venue’s quietest time to minimise the number of people inconvenienced. The work will replace the equipment and plant which are most at risk of breaking down. By doing this we hope to prevent a major unplanned closure which could last for at least 20 weeks.
“The Authority recognises that some skaters will be impacted by the venue’s temporary closure however, we are wholly committed to supporting those most affected. We have been consulting with our staff and coaches who work at the centre and will be communicating with our regular visitors and the community to make sure they know of the works.
“The repairs will create a new first rate ice skating surface and will be completed as quickly as possible. The method we are using means everything we are installing can be reused in any potential temporary or permanent venue providing value for money for the current ice centre and any future venue.”