Image: The proposed new sports centre

A planning application has been submitted to build an indoor sports and education centre in Ryde, to include facilities for ice skating, tennis courts, a climbing wall and a soft play area.

It would be known as the SILC (Smallbrook Ice & Leisure Centre) and funding is dependent on cash being raised in the community alongside winning grants from organisations including 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.

Malcom Marshall from RACAG said,

“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 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.”

The plans would see a development next to Smallbrook Stadium. Those behind the project want it to be up and running within a year.

The scheme would see a full size ice rink for recreational, figure skating and ice hockey, 2 multi-sports courts to include netball, volleyball, basketball, badminton or croquet, as well as the 3 dedicated tennis courts.

Also planned is a large climbing wall and soft play area, along with a café and a sports shop.

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

“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!”