UPDATED: The doors to Ryde Arena ice rink have been closed and locked this morning (Thursday) after bailiffs moved in overnight to repossess the property from Ryde Arena Limited on behalf of the landlord AEW Europe/BNY Mellon Trust & Depository (UK) Limited.
A notice stuck to the main entrance of the ice rink on Quay Road states that the landlord has re-entered the premises under the forfeiture clause in the lease and that the lease has now been forfeit. It goes on to add that civil and potentially criminal proceedings will be brought against anyone entering or attempting to enter the premises without the landlord’s consent.
The Junior Raider’s Ice Hockey Team have confirmed that due to the closure of the rink there will be no training for teams this evening. According to the club’s Facebook page a number of conversations and meetings will take place today.
Meanwhile IOW Skaters say they are awaiting news about the future of the rink.
In a statement issued on Ryde Arena’s Facebook, a spokesperson has said
“We are currently closed due to a dispute with the landlord which we have been trying to resolve.
“RAL [Ryde Arena Limited] are hoping to give a further update when there is any change in the situation”.
UPDATE @ 13:45 – Ryde Arena Limited have this afternoon issued a full statement on the situation. It reads:
“Ryde Arena Limited (RAL) and its voluntary board members would like to state as of the 6th of October our Landlord AEW Europe and BNY Mellon have taken the decision to force entry in to the ice rink and change the locks therefore rendering us unable to enter the building and carry on trading.
“RAL have tried over the last 3 months through various channels to have a meaningful dialogue with AEW Europe and BNY Mellon regarding the rent and the lack of refurbishment of the Arena; all attempts have failed. Their default position has been to ask for full rent of £130,000 even though they have accepted a large cash settlement from the insurance company, to refurbish the areas of the rink that had been affected by the water damage. By not refurbishing the rink they are contravening their own lease responsibilities.
“RAL have argued that as we have no access to the bar, café and other large office areas a reduced rent should be sought to compensate for the loss of secondary income which underpinned our business plan.
“RAL, its loyal staff, ice rink users, fans and wider community have made every effort to keep this much needed facility open. RAL are bitterly disappointed with this decision made by AEW Europe and BNY Mellon.
“RAL would respectfully ask at this point that no unsubstantiated statements be posted on media sites which could cause upset to staff and coaches at this delicate time”.
Many parents have expressed their upset and anger at the situation, with many having paid membership fees and having purchased new equipment as recently as last night.
Local deal website The Price is Wight say that any deals they have sold for the Arena are protected and they will be able to refund the deals should that be required.
UPDATE @ 16:40 – Rachel McIsaac, Head of Asset Management AEW UK Core Property Fund has this afternoon told Island Echo:
“It is with regret that we have brought to an end Ryde Arena Limited’s lease on Ryde Arena.
“Since Ryde Arena Limited took a full assignment of Planet Ice’s lease in Spring 2015 they have been unable to meet the rental obligations due under the lease and have accumulated very significant arrears.
“We have a fiscal responsibility to our pension fund unitholders to create a sustainable, long term use for the building that will also benefit the local community and visitors to the island”.
AEW UK wish to clarify the role of their depository BNY Mellon who, although listed as Landlord on the paperwork, are in fact a depositary appointed by the fund manager.
The role of the depositary is a regulatory requirement. A depositary has 3 core functions: safekeeping of all of the assets of the fund; monitoring of the cash flows of the fund and certain duties of oversight to ensure that the fund is managed by the fund manager in accordance with applicable regulations and its constitutive and offering documents. A depositary does not make any investment management decisions and is not involved in managing or administering the fund. A depositary has a fiduciary duty towards the fund and must act in the interests of the investors in the fund.