(c) Andrew Nordbruch

Ryde Arena has been made an asset of community value, the Isle of Wight Council has confirmed.

It means the seafront building, once the home to the Wightlink Raiders ice hockey team and numerous skating groups before its sudden closure last year, is considered to be one that contributes “to the social wellbeing of the area” and is therefore important to the Island.

Link the rink - ryde arena
Campaigners have been fighting for the future of the rink.

What Is An Asset Of Community Value?

If leaseholder AEW were to give the Isle of Wight Council notice that it wanted to sell the former ice rink, its decision would trigger a “pause” in the proceedings. It means there would be a period of time for community groups to register an interest in buying it.

What happens then…?

  • The community group would have six weeks to demonstrate an interest after notification of sale.
  • There is extra time to allow the group to actually negotiate a deal.
  • AEW Europe would not be able to sell Ryde Arena to anyone else over six months, but it would be allowed to continue to market the building and negotiate with others.
  • AEW Europe would not be obligated to accept less than the building is worth.
  • If a community deal falls through, and the building does not sell within 18 months, the process can start again.
Ryde Arena ice rink
Sorry state. Inside Ryde Arena before its ice pad was ripped up.

Value

It is understood that no formal notice of sale has yet been made, but Isle of Wight Council was offered the building for £3 million (which it turned down).

AEW Europe has not responded to a number of emails sent by Isle of Wight Radio, but its representatives are due to the meet Isle of Wight Council later this month (January) to consider a dilapidation report. The company could be eligible for compensation from the Isle of Wight Council for any money lost due to the rink being given community asset status.

(main image: Andrew Nordbruch)


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