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A planning application has been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council to build a state of the art indoor sports and education centre in Ryde offering ice skating, tennis courts, a climbing wall and much more.

The Smallbrook Ice & Leisure Centre will be a major, all year-round attraction that will improve the health and wellbeing facilities available to the local community, whilst bringing back the once hugely popular sport of ice skating and ice hockey to the Island.

The centre will provide a full size ice rink for recreational, figure skating and ice hockey, 2 multi-sports courts for netball, volleyball, basketball, badminton or croquet as well as the 3 dedicated tennis courts. In addition, a large climbing wall will be installed alongside a soft play area – the soft play area for under 12s will comprise of 6 trampolines, a mini climbing wall, a mini football pitch, monkey bars maze and slides and ball area with a themed design of dinosaurs and unicorns.

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A café and sports shop will also be built to accompany the facilities available at Smallbrook Ice & Leisure Centre. The funding is dependent on raising funds and applying for various funding grants including from the likes of Sport England.

Local resident Zyrieda, who is spear-heading the venture, has brought together a collaborative group made up of Ryde Arena Community Action Group (RACAG), Ryde School, the Isle of Wight Council and its Regeneration Team, and other sports clubs.

The development is set to be built next to Smallbrook Stadium on the outskirts of Ryde and, if planning is successful, it could be open within the next 12 months.

Malcom Marshall of Ryde Arena Community Action Group (RACAG) says:

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“The plans for the Smallbrook ice and leisure centre were previewed to a packed room of the Ryde Arena Community Action Group. We’re so delighted with the proposal and give full support to the development which will bring back skating and ice-hockey to the Island along with a wide range of other activities for all islanders.

“Many of our young people and their parents and carers are showing great resilience by continuing to skate and play ice hockey on the mainland, but many others, unfortunately, have had to suspend their dreams.

“We warmly welcome the rapid development of an improved facility and will campaign to ensure that the Council and national funding bodies give their full support to have the centre open within 12 months.

“There has already been rapid progress and we hope that we will see our Island skating and hockey community back on ice soon”.

Richard Hutchins, Chairman of Ryde Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, says:

“What a fantastic project that will benefit the Island and all sports clubs. We have been waiting a long time for indoor tennis courts. This scheme will compliment the excellent work already undertaken by the clubs and will have a significant impact on promoting junior tennis on the Island.  Good luck!”.

More information will be posted on the official website,

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Does not mention trampolining, ball park etc for older kids and adults.
From my experience as a mother/grandmother they would also enjoy this sort of experience, not just under 12’s so maybe this could also be considered.

My youngest grandchild would have to be on his own in these areas as his brothers are over 12.


That should work well, No bus service, No pavement and the most accident prone roundabout on the Island.


Maybe try to look at the positives? Someone is trying to do something good and the immediate response is a typical IW “let’s find something minor to whinge about”. Just a shot in the dark but maybe they’d put a bus service on if someone built a facility people wanted to go to? Perhaps they’d improve the road layout too if there was going to be more traffic? Not exactly difficult to solve those issues.

John Healy

smallbrook will have bus service because of the new housing development Not needed but hey ho


Always good to be positive!


Why can’t something be built with children with disabilities in mind ??my daughter loves a soft play area but at the age limit being set at 12 she wouldn’t be able to use it(she’s 14) but not mentally that age,the nearest soft play is jr zone in Newport(which does cater for disabled children with their own sessions)and she is too big for magic island.
Would it not be a good idea to make it inclusive for all?


just for once can ordinary kids have something without the dissisibility mob whinging don’t you lot get enough

Paul Moreton

I am sure all these things could be talked about but lets not get bogged down with detail lets inbrace the project first. Once it has funding and permission then lets make it work for all.

Jan B

Lisa, please contact me [email protected]

Martin Ryde

How do you know it’s not going to be inclusive? The negativity of residents and do gooders before anything is up and running is the reason why this Island is so far behind the mainland..


If you looked at the plans you would see there are 7 disabled parking spaces also with it being a newly built project it will almost certainly be DDA compliant. Research first then make comments!


You already have a perfectly suitable building in Ryde that has good transport links. Why build somewhere that has no bus link and is dangerous to walk there.


Because they don’t own the building hence it’s not theirs to “do up”


Unfortunatey Ryde Arena would not be a suitable building for this, it wouldn’t fit in a full size ice pad let alone all the other facilities this plan includes. Transport issues aren’t that big a problem to solve. Bus services can be added, road layouts improved, there’s even a train station not far down the road (would need a safe pavement from the station to the leisure centre)…all doable if we think positively and focus on why we can do this and not why we can’t.

Heath Monaghan

Aspire Ryde have had plans for ages for soft play & climbing wall – they are starting to build the soft play area this Monday that will be open to all ages & be accessible for those with additional needs – should be open in under a month!

john g

surely this would be better in the now derelict old ice rink, or is that earmarked for some builder.

Christine Stone

Yes and blocks of flats!


Excellent well thought out much needed for the island. All the wasted funds spent on that tunnel assessment could have been directed this way.

John Healy

An ice rink is not needed Why not a roller skate facility for all year use Cricket football tennis athletes gym climbing wall Let’s be radical


For two decades approx.600** people on the Island turned up every week to watch ice hockey (that needs an ice rink), hundreds of kids trained to compete in national ice skating competitions (that needs an ice rink), the old Ryde Arena was full of people watching the ice panto every winter (that needs an ice rink). If you read the article you’d notice that other facilities are also included (such as the tennis you mention). As for cricket…as someone who plays outdoor cricket every summer and indoor cricket every winter I think we have facilities for that already. **What other… Read more »

none given

Also significant numbers of children travelled over to Ryde on the Hovercraft, after buying the Hover and Skate ticket that they sold. The kids spent the whole day skating and having fun on the seafront before heading back to Portsmouth. They spent money on the island on skating, ice creams, food and travel. That Ice rink was popular with far more people than just Islanders. The stupid investment fund that own it are being greedy. They want all 25 years rent up front as the purchase price to ensure their investors get a good return. They fail to understand that… Read more »

Some Guy

You do release they don’t melt in the summer don’t you? Why can’t you use it all year round?

Nigel Tuck

Open within 12 months? Really?


Fantastic news, and would be conveniently near to the new penny feathers development of 1000 houses .
Smart move, fingers crossed this gets the go ahead.


What a great opportunity! All you lot moaning should be glad someone is wanting to bring something fun to this island!

Heather Holloway

Sounds a very good idea to me. Would be perfect for holiday makers too when the weather is inclement and year round use is excellent. Not much on this Island for people to use that isn’t vastly expensive. Go for it. Hope we can get the necessary funds


We already have an Ice Rink, as for the other activates ? whatever happened to getting out into the fresh air as against yet another indoor sports complex. negatives; No bus route, known dangerous road, No foot path, no real requirement..Positives; Nice earner for who ever builds it and who ever owns it ,


I love your comment and fully back your suggestions adding we dont need fat cats getting fatter. More outside space for fresh air is needed.


So more development on green land why can’t we just use areas that have already been ruined and left to fit rather than develop on fields of natural importance ‘re work Ryde Arena if we can get monies for this project instead and pay the rent

Andy Corney

Dont if and but ! Get on and build this Great sport hall , get our Skaters back on island , long over due!


I recently went to a climbing centre in Cardiff. It was brilliant! Great for adults, youngsters, school groups, they offer tuition, you can hold parties there, it would be great for the Island to have something similar. It’s called


I am very disappointed with the plans it being an all-round sports center I wouldn’t have expected 80% of it being an ice rink and tennis courts I enjoy doing both now and then but tennis is a hard game to play specialy for younger people plus’s it gets boring after a while aslo it can be played outside what a waist of space and ice skating is dangerous I have seen many many injuries and even a loss of a couple fingers once not to mention the cost of keeping an ice rink open I would love them to… Read more »

John buzzer

So if this facility gets built where it is supposed to be getting built will see the demise of ryde town. Ryde will loose the famous scooter rally and also we will loose the speedway to who rely heavily on the scooter rally to run from season to season. Also the impact on ryde town shops will be seen when all small businesses close because of the amount of money comes with the rally. Sport England have rejected funding for it and island roads are not to happy either I think people need to think really hard about this as… Read more »


Re your write up in today’s local paper in regard to forthcoming event on 21st/22nd September, you CANNOT say it is at Smallbrooke Stadium, it is NOT at the Stadium !!!

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