Inside east London's new £30m Olympic-size ice centre

The topping out at the Lee Valley Ice Centre

The topping out at the Lee Valley Ice Centre. In the foreground are Dannii Goldie, Waltham Forrest deputy leader Cllr Ahsan Khan, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority chief exec Shaun Dawson, and Lammas School students Angel Donkor and Beyza Yildirim - Credit: Steve Bainbridge Photography Ltd

A topping out ceremony has been held for a new £30 million regional ice centre.

The rebuilt Lee Valley Ice Centre, due to open this winter, will have two new Olympic-sized ice rinks.

The main structure has been completed at the Lea Bridge Road facility, which will include a gym, cafe, dance studio and community spaces.

The centre is being built and funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), with £1 million of support from the Waltham Forest council.

At the ceremony on Wednesday, June 29, a commemorative plaque was signed by LVRPA chief executive Shaun Dawson, Waltham Forest deputy leader Cllr Ahsan Khan, 
ice skating coach Dannii Goldie, and Angel Donkor, a young ambassador for the centre and part of a group of students from Lammas School learning about the construction industry.

Mr Dawson said: “Our ambition is for an inspirational venue bringing world class facilities to communities in east London and across the region, aiding physical and mental wellbeing.

“The much loved old centre had reached the end of its operational life and could no longer cope with the high demand. But it lives on. We reused 95% of the concrete – 950 tonnes – from the old centre for the foundations of this exciting new building with which we will be able to achieve so much more.

“We see it as a new community hub with programmes for schools, under-represented groups and a host of community organisations.”

The topping out at the Lee Valley Ice Centre

The topping out at the Lee Valley Ice Centre - Credit: Steve Bainbridge Photography Ltd

The original centre opened in 1984 and, before it closed for redevelopment last year, was used by 279,000 people a year. The new rinks will have double that capacity.

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Ms Goldie, who was one of the first people on the ice in 1984, said: "Since then, my training has taken me to numerous national and international ice skating championships to now coaching the next generation of budding ice skaters. A lot of my skaters are women and young girls and we know that females are often less likely to take part in sport. I’m excited about the opportunities the new Lee Valley Ice Centre will bring and can’t wait to be part of encouraging more people to get active.”

The new venue, designed by Faulknerbrowns, is being delivered by Buckingham Group Contracting and Wrenbridge. The external landscaping is being delivered by LDA Design.

Designs for the new Lee Valley Ice Centre

Designs for the new Lee Valley Ice Centre - Credit: Grayling