London’s £30m new ice skating centre with two Olympic-sized rinks to open in Waltham Forest


“world-class” £30million ice skating centre is set to open in east London this weekend featuring two Olympic-sized rinks.

The hotly anticipated new Lee Valley Ice Centre, built near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Leyton, is expected to attract half a million visitors per year – double the capacity of the venue it was built to replace.

Opening to the public on Saturday, the cutting-edge new centre also features a gym, dance studio, cafe and community spaces, and is hoped to boost the local economy by as much as £1.5 million annually.

It also features £1.5m-worth of landscaping, planting and improvements to the area.

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Designed by award-winning architect FaulknerBrowns, it is built on the same Lea Bridge Road site as the old Lee Valley Ice Centre, which closed down after 37 years as it struggled to keep up with demand.

The new venue is one of just three in the UK to feature two Olympic-sized rinks, and is the only one in the south of England.

The £30m project was funded by venue owner Lee Valley Regional Authority (LVRA), which owns London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues including Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire.

It also received £1 million of support from the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

LVRA aims to provide a home for underrepresented groups in sport and young local residents in a bid to reduce crime and health issues in the area.

The new Lee Valley Ice Centre

/ Lee Valley Ice Centre

Almost a third of skaters at the old centre were from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background. Women and girls made up around 60 per cent of visitors. More than half of skaters were under the age of 16.

Operated by social enterprise Better, the new centre will offer public skating sessions where people of all abilities can try out the sport, along with sessions from top-class coaches, ice dancing, synchronised skating, ice hockey, and ice discos, as well as community engagement activities.

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors through the doors of the new Lee Valley Ice Centre.

“This world-class centre is at the cutting edge of leisure. It replaces our much loved old venue which served the community for 37 years as a space for people of all ages to meet, socialise and exercise.

Inside the new £30million facility

/ Lee Valley Ice Centre

“I’m delighted that we have been able to go so far beyond what the old venue offered and that we’re opening this new centre less than two years since we started construction work.

“We are excited to see communities here enjoying everything the centre has to offer and for it to become home to the next generation of skaters.”

Admission will be just £1 when the venue first opens its doors on Saturday. Visitors will be able to skate and enjoy faamily activities, giveaways and entertainment at the launch event.

Lee Valley Ice Centre will be open seven days a week from 6am to 11pm.

Booking is needed for all skaters at the opening day. To pre-register for updates, visit

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