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Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority with the Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Grace Williams

Nine months of community impact celebrated at Lee Valley Ice Centre

Release date: 

22 March 2024

Lee Valley Ice Centre today welcomed hundreds of school children and community figures to mark nine remarkable months of community impact since the opening of this stunning new leisure venue in Leyton.

Nearly 100,000 people have already skated at the £30m venue which opened last June and replaces the old Lee Valley Ice Centre which, after 37 years, could not keep up with demand. The event was an opportunity to showcase the venue in action and highlight impactful community engagement projects underway thanks to funding from the London Borough of Waltham Forest and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

Among the attendees were Grace Williams, the leader of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Lea Bridge Ward Councilor Jennifer Whilby and representatives from London Sport.

At the heart of the event, over 100 eager school children from Waltham Forest, Hackney, Islington and Enfield took their first glides on the ice on one rink while London Heat – an ice hockey team for emergency services members - showcased their skills on the other.

Guests heard about the new venue’s popularity, cemented by a 40% increase in activity levels and explored the two Olympic-sized rinks, gym, dance studios, community spaces café and the award-winning landscape, the result of a £1.5 million worth of environmental enhancements.

As part of its commitment to the community, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has pledged to deliver a 10 year package of benefits for the borough’s residents. These programmes are already having a significant impact in the community.

Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Shaun Dawson, said: “Just nine months after opening, Lee Valley Ice Centre is attracting visitors from across communities, locally, regionally and further afield and we were delighted to share progress on this today, showing how this community asset is delivering on our continuing commitment to offer a range of sport and leisure opportunities to people locally and across the region.

The significant funding support from Waltham Forest for community engagement programmes is having a major impact, from helping to reduce anti social behavior through crime prevention courses to engaging hundreds of primary school children on the ice and in biodiversity awareness programmes with our award winning landscape transformation”.

Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Grace Williams added: “Our residents will absolutely love the elegant Lee Valley Ice Centre which is a fitting gateway to Waltham Forest and will attract people from near and far.

The Council’s funding of community programmes means this centre will have long lasting benefits for years to come, helping build community cohesion, tackle crime, boost health and wellbeing and give people of all ages and all backgrounds the chance to skate in a stunning setting”.

Tony Wallace, Regional Director at GLL, who operate the venue, said: “It's incredibly exciting for us to be operating Lee Valley Ice Centre on behalf of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and today marks a significant milestone. We've seen huge demand in the opening months for both ice and health and fitness activities and our aim is to build on this successful launch as we develop this amazing venue for the whole of the community. It was great to see our clubs and partners coming together today to celebrate.”

The community programmes include:

  • Crime prevention courses conducted in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police and partners, resulting in a significant reduction in antisocial behavior and criminal activities among 70 local youths.

  • A Biodiversity Awareness Engagement Programmethat welcomed 330 primary school children, promoting environmental education and conservation efforts.

  • Free access provided to 6,000 young people from 350 different groups, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility to the facility.

  • Collaboration with underrepresented communities and groups impacted by poverty, including asylum seekers, religious groups, and participants from Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) groups.

  • The initiation of an apprenticeship programmetailored to the ice sector, providing opportunities for skill development and career advancement.

Lee Valley Ice Centre is open seven days a week from 06:00 – 22:00. Skating for an adult is £10 and for under 18s is £8. Skate hire is £3.

Bookings, and full information, including gym and exercise classes is at:


For more information, or hi-res images contact

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