This week the council’s Director of Regeneration, Chris Ashman, confirmed the IW council have taken the lease holder for Ryde Arena to court.
Ashman: “We have taken them to court”
Talking about regeneration plans in the pipeline, he said,
“The challenge there [Ryde Arena] is we have got a long term lease holder who isn’t really doing anything with the building.
“We have taken them to court, asking them to honour the commitments of the lease.”
OnTheWight has asked the council when the action was taken and what the outcome was.
A spokesperson advised,
“The court hearing hasn’t taken place yet. It’s scheduled for some time in the New Year but I will seek clarification as to when.”
In a statement to the BBC in October, AEW said:
Negotiations had shown “there is currently no party in a financial position to continue operating the property as an ice rink and the council does not wish to assume this role”.
“However, AEW continues to have a dialogue with the CEO of the Isle of Wight Council, in the hope of finding a satisfactory resolution, potentially as part of the council’s longer term plans for the regeneration of the seafront.”
OnTheWight has contacted AEW for a comment on the court case.
Update 14.16 – AEW’s PR advisors got in touch following publication of the article saying,
“Saw your piece earlier – just to say there is no further comment from us.”
Protecting the council’s asset?
Back in February 2018 OnTheWight contacted the Isle of Wight council to inform them of an open external door, which meant people could gain access to the building.
A spokesperson for the council said, “although the council is the freeholder, the security of the building is the responsibility of the leaseholder”.
We understood that AEW might contractually be responsible for security, but as the building is a council – and therefore pubic – asset, we asked whether the council should take action to secure the building/door – to do what they can to ensure the tax-payers’ asset is protected?
The response we received was,
“Responsibility for securing the building and doors rests with the leaseholder for the building.”
Current state of the building
One of the campaigners for a return of the Arena to an ice rink, Cameron Palin, shared photos of the inside of the arena in its current state (as of December 2018).
He told OnTheWight the back door of the premises had been left open and photos had been sent to him.
14.16 – Statement from IWC and AEW’s PR Advisors added