Ice hockey is about to start a new chapter at the Lee Valley Ice Centre, which recently reopened its doors this summer.

Lee Valley Ice Centre, owned by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and managed by GLL, a charitable social enterprise and worker-owned cooperative operating under the community-brand, Better, will see ice hockey return for the first time in more than two years in the brand new £30 million venue.

And the first game of the new season sees Lee Valley Lions welcome local rivals Chelmsford Warriors to mark their return home on Sunday September 10.

This outstanding new facility is one of only three in the country, and the very first in the South East, to boast two Olympic-sized rinks.

And there are also Learn to Skate courses, Patch Ice sessions, figure skating, a gym, dance studios, community spaces and a café, making it a vibrant community hub for East London.

Gavin Pearce, general manager at Lee Valley Ice Centre, said: “It will be great to see the return of Lee Valley Lions to their roots. They were such a huge part of the history of the old ice rink and now they have our amazing new venue to play their home games. We hope Lee Valley Lions can have a successful first season back at home.”

Shaun Dawson, chief executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, added: “We’re thrilled to welcome back Lee Valley Lions for an exciting new season at the new Lee Valley Ice Centre.

"After two years of construction, the revival of sporting events at our new Ice Centre marks a significant development, underscoring our commitment to foster local talent, provide top-of-the-range sporting facilities for clubs and individuals and a sporting and social legacy for generations to come.

“With its twin Olympic-sized rinks and a range of sport/activity offers, from ice hockey to figure skating and fitness gym to fitness classes, we want the venue to be more than just a facility – our vision is for it to be a vibrant community hub that brings people together.”

Nestled within Lee Valley Regional Park, the economic impact of the new establishment is projected to be substantial, potentially contributing up to £1.5 million annually to the local economy.

The venue is expected to have an estimated half a million annual visitors, doubling the numbers of the previous Lee Valley Ice Centre, which served the community for 37 years.

Lee Valley Ice Centre is a dedicated to sustainability, with extensive environmental, landscaping, and biodiversity enhancements. The £30 million investment by venue owner Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, with support from the London Borough of Waltham Forest, has resulted in a world-class ice venue that proudly stands on the site of its predecessor on Lea Bridge Road, Leyton.

Notably, the new Lee Valley Ice Centre is set to become the most sustainable ice venue in the UK, blending innovative architectural features with £1.5 million worth of landscaping, planting, and environmental improvements. The facility harnesses solar panels, wastewater recycling systems, and operates fully on electricity.

Its construction, incorporating gabion baskets, demonstrates a commitment to nature, providing nesting and bat boxes, and is surrounded by lush meadows and new trees that actively attract and support local wildlife and biodiversity.

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