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Campaigners fighting to save the Isle of Wight’s only ice-skating rink, Ryde Arena, will join hands and ‘Link Around the Rink’ in protest of the building’s closure at 10:30 on Saturday 6th October.

This event will mark 2 years since the building’s owners, AEW UK, controversially locked the doors on Ryde Arena, freezing out the hundreds of Islanders who used the space for sports and recreation every week. Link Around the Rink will see Island locals joining hands to encircle Ryde Arena, which remains empty.

Robina Marshall from Ryde Arena Community Action Group (RACAG) has encouraged Islanders to join them at 10:30 on Saturday 6th October.

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She’s said:

“Prior to its closure, this ice rink served as a hub for our community. It hosted everything from ice skating and ice hockey to discos, community fundraisers and arena events. There simply is not another venue like this on the Isle of Wight.

“When AEW locked the doors to Ryde Arena, they locked our children out of access to the opportunities afforded to their peers on the mainland and it simply is not good enough.

“Next Saturday, we want as many people as possible to join our Link Around the Rink and send the message that the fight for Ryde Arena is not a fight we will be giving up”.

Following the Arena’s closure RACAG has taken on the charge to reopen the building, attracting the support of local councillors and Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, who will address crowds at the event.

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Robina adds:

“We are delighted with the level of support we have received from our community in trying to save Ryde Arena. Our MP and many of our local councillors, have supported us in trying to find a positive way forward for what is an important asset to our community. Sadly, our negotiations with AEW have stalled but we are strong in our resolve. We want our ice rink back and we want it back now.”

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