IMPORTANT: The bailiffs moved in on Ryde Arena early on 6 October: the rink is currently closed.
Leaseholder BNY Mellon/AEW Europe and the sub-leaseholder, community trust Ryde Arena Ltd, are currently in dispute over rent owed. The freeholder, Isle of Wight Council, is not involved.
According to reports in the press, BNY Mellon/AEW Europe alleges some £200,000 is owed. As rent on the Arena is £130,000 a year, and the trust has been in operation at the rink since 21 April 2015, the trust would have had to pay no rent at all for the 18-month period for that to be true (rent for the period would total about £195,000), including during the lengthy period the rink was closed to the public because of storm damage from November 2015 and for which insurance for business interruption would have paid the rent. The rink only officially reopened to the public on 5 August 2016.
The storm damaged the roof above office areas, the bar and cafe. The leaseholder has accepted an insurance settlement for the damage but has yet to reinstate the bar and cafe facilities, which at the time of writing are stripped and unusable. The trust has been trying to negotiate a reduced rent in view of the fact that these money-earning areas are unusable.
Ian Jenkins of the trust said on Facebook that: “AEW have throughout the refit had full market rent paid under their business interruption clause. They also received a large cash settlement for works that should have been completed to reinstate the facilities. I would request that AEW openly submit to this site a current statement showing all amounts paid to them from our insurance company in the interest of transparency and openness, including a balance owing.”
Coaches and the Wightlink Raiders have been shut out of the rink by the bailiffs, unable to retrieve personal property, such as skates and hockey kit, which are not part of the assets of Ryde Arena and which are essential to their professional work.