Smallbrook ice & leisure centre

New multi-sports centre including ice rink proposed for Ryde

A planning application has been submitted to build an exciting, new, state of the art indoor sports and education centre in Ryde offering activities including ice skating, tennis courts, a climbing wall as well as a trampoline park.

This inspiring new project is a not for profit charitable and affordable sports venue, open to all as a major all year-round attraction 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.

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. Plans have been submitted for the development next to Smallbrook Stadium, and if planning is successful, it could be open within the next 12 months.

Malcolm Marshall (RACAG)
“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
“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!.”
The Ice Rink on the seafront in Ryde was once a hive of activity, but with sky-high rent and lack of investment has now become derelict.

Keen skaters and their families are resorting to training in their trainers, or commuting to the mainland to practice. This collaboration will bring skating back to the Island and provide a host of other activities, which will encourage more children and their families to be active.

It is worth noting Lord Coe’s comment “the statistic that should be keeping us awake at night, is that between the ages of nine and fifteen kids become 50% less physically active“.

However, this statistic is even worse here, particular amongst girls, so as an Island, we need to be attracting these age groups into sports, to support physical development and positive wellbeing.

Proposed plans

The plan provides a full size ice rink for recreational, figure skating and ice hockey, 2 multi-sports courts which could include; netball, volleyball, basketball, 5-a-side football, badminton, padel tennis or croquet as well as the 3 dedicated tennis courts. A large climbing wall and children’s activity centre comprising of three full size trampolines, a mini climbing wall, a mini football pitch, and trampoline park, along with a café and a sports shop.

The funding is dependent on raising funds and applying to various funding grants including Sport England.

Link to Planning

Thank you to everyone that wrote in and showed their support for our application plans.

Multi-Sport / Activities for Sustainability



We aim to provide 3 indoor tennis courts for the use of all the tennis clubs on the island.

It is hoped that each club on the Island will have their own individual club night for their own members and tennis players will be encouraged to play as part of their individual clubs to enhance teamwork that already exists.

We are hoping to run both a daily junior academy and junior program open to all juniors.

Tennis Pay and play will be available and affordable (for low income families) during off peak hours (eg 12-2pm) to encourage new players to have access to the sport.

We are also hoping to introduce a padel court to the complex.

We aim to work with all the local Tennis clubs to enhance facilities and encourage more participation in the sport

Feet closeup of group of friends ice skating together

Ice Rink

We are hoping to become the first eco-friendly ice rink and reuse the heat generated by the chillers by heat exchangers to warm the rest of the facility. We are using double insulation and skylights to conserve light energy.

We are planning a full size ice rink that will be available for recreational, figure skating and ice hockey. With the seating capacity of 756 seats.

We aim to run regular Disco nights, learn to skate courses, public skating sessions and lessons. As well as private tuition and training facilities for our Ice skaters and hockey teams.

Schools or non-profit organisations could have dedicated time on the ice for group lessons or ice time. Why not celebrate a Birthday and hold a party at the sports centre.

We hope to hold occasional shows concerts or conferences on the specially insulated covering of the ice rink for multi use

Childrens Activity Centre

Children's Activity Centre

We are currently investigating a children’s activity centre which would comprise of kids and teens mini football and basketball pitch, ninja park and mini climbing wall.

Several trampolines and 3 full size trampolines for use by both recreational and gymnastics trampoline instructors using the facility for after school clubs.

Multi-Sports centre

We aim to have 2 dedicated multi-sports courts which will have the versatility to support existing sports clubs in an all year round facility to practice and train for the sport of their choice.

We would also encourage schools to use the courts for their games/PE lessons

Our aims for various sporting activities based on the requests from many sports clubs:

Mini football for very young children and 5 and 6-a-side football leagues to run for both girls and boys of all ages.

Introduce Basketball to East Wight and enter leagues with existing men’s and ladies teams.

An island centre for netball including a full size netball court to encourage netball in all ages from all over the island.

Badminton is huge on the island and coaches would like to run regular badminton on fully marked up badminton courts.

Dance and gymnastics classes to take place with coaching.


This was our first choice. We made two offers to the current long leaseholders. The second offer matched the price they paid for it, which we think is now above the actual market value of the property, but this was rejected.

We also tried to contact the owners of Harcourt Sands, on Ryde Seafront, through their agents and received no response. The gradient at this site would make it more expensive than the Smallbrook plan and less economically viable.

We agree. Public transport to the site needs to be improved. Whether that’s by having an additional bus service on this route or potentially making Smallbrook Junction a permanent stop on the Island Line. We are discussing with the Council how to improve pedestrian, cycle and vehicle access to the site.

We will also look at working with other Island community groups about running a solar energy electric mini bus service from Ryde and car-pooling for residents with cars to offer lifts to those without them. We hope to be able to offer free car parking at the site.

The Smallbrook site was originally designed and given planning permission for access by 5,000 people at any one time. The opening of the centre will not increase the peak volumes of traffic for the area beyond those already planned when the stadium was built.

However, the Smallbrook roundabout is one of the most dangerous intersections on the Island and needs to be upgraded regardless of whether or not the centre goes ahead. The Isle of Wight Council has already demanded action from Island Roads prior to the plans for the centre being developed.

We have already secured up to £1m from members of the community. The project will require at least another £2m and we looking to meet with grant-making and funding bodies to raise this. A small element of the funding, £100,000- £150,000, we hope will come from community fund-raising.

Our ambition is to have one of the most environmentally friendly ice-rinks and sports centres in the UK.

Advances in technology mean that the new facility will use less energy than the old ice rink. In addition, we are investing a substantial amount in heat exchangers which will allow us to heat other areas by generating energy from the ice chillers. We are in discussions with local experts to explore the potential to locate solar panels on part of the site to generate some of our own energy needs.

The planned building uses construction techniques that generate fewer CO2 emission than most buildings.

We’re setting up a charity to build and operate the centre. The final plans for the structure and the governance of the charity will partly be will be determined by the requirements of the funders and grant making bodies. Once these are finalised we’ll announce more information.

We’d like to open as quickly as possible. Children in our community have had their lives disrupted by the actions of the Ice-rink owner for almost three years. When you’re young every year counts in your development and health. A year is a very long time for children. For this reason, we’ve set ourselves an ambitious target of opening by July 2020. This will be difficult and we’re realistic enough to know that this may not be achieved. But we’re going to try! The biggest risk to this target is how long it will take us to secure funding.

The Speedway and table tennis are great assets for the Island community, and we think both will benefit in several ways as Smallbrook becomes a leisure hub for the Island. The improved access to the site, including road improvements and walking and cycling routes from Ryde, will increase use of all facilities. If we are successful in getting improved public transport to the site this will really benefit the Speedway and the table tennis. The increased footfall will lead to more business for both the Speedway and the Table Tennis. The Speedway could also potentially benefit from revenues from charging for over-flow parking at the site (we’re hoping to offer our own parking free of charge).

Although we want to work closely with the Isle of Wight Council, Ryde Town Council and Haylands Parish Council the centre will be built and run by an independent charity. We will build on the experience of running community sports facilities gained by the West Wight Sports Centre and Waterfront Pool teams. The building is designed to be easier and faster to construct than conventional buildings.

We think that the site of Ryde Arena is strategically important for the Island and Ryde in particular. We strongly oppose residential and retail development on the Quay Road site.

BBC South Today reporting on news
of our proposed plans 23/6/19

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