Plans have been revealed for the redevelopment of Lee Valley Ice Centre, including the creation of an additional ice rink.
The ice skating leisure centre, between Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow Marshes, currently has one international-sized rink. The new plans include a second rink — also Olympic-sized — to allow ice skating for longer hours and more continuously, with one rink in use while the other undergoes maintenance.
As well as being open for public skating, the rink currently hosts skating lessons, roller discos, and is the home of the Lee Valley Lions ice hockey club.
A new gym, dance studio, and community spaces are part of the plans to overhaul the 37-year-old building, as well as a cafe, open to people walking and cycling on the surrounding marshland.
Ecological factors are being taken into consideration: wildflower meadows, walking routes through the woodlands and outdoor seating were highlighted as being important by people who responded to a recent public consultation. The plans include the introduction of native plant species to increase wildlife in the area, and to brighten the place up.
A public consultation on the plans closed on 1 September, with 80% of responses reported as positive.
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority is aiming to submit a planning application for the new ice centre in early October, with a view to commencing construction in early 2021 should planning permission be received.
If all goes well, the tow Olympic-sized rinks will be up and running in 2023.