The Works Skatepark in Hunslet has closed its doors and ceased trading citing the long hot summer and changes to grant funding hitting their income and making the operation uneconomic.
In a statement on Facebook they said:
“It’s with great sadness that after 6 years of positive impact through our Skatepark, Education and Community programmes The Work Skatepark Charity has had to make the decision to cease trading and close the doors.
“This decision has not been taken lightly and follows months of work trying to salvage a very difficult situation. The board of trustees, staff and supporters have done everything they possibly could to prevent this course of action. However the summer heatwave, combined with changes in funding across different aspects of the charity have led to a position that is no longer viable.
“We would like to place on record our appreciation to all the past and present staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity that over the years have given so much to creating a special place.”
Over the years South Leeds Life has reported on the many activities and schemes run by the charity. As well as providing a safe space for young people to gather and practice their skills on skateboards, BMXs and scooters; The Works ran schemes give donated bicycles to underprivilaged children; and work experience projects to help young people get into work.
In an outpouring of sadness in reaction to the announcement on social media Stephanie Precious wrote:
This is heartbreaking for Leeds, I have spent many an hour at the skate park with my younger brother, who was ‘saved’ a lot of heartache by the staff after our fathers death, my daughter who loved BMXing and our son who loved scootering – the staff are fantastic, and the people at the top (one in particular) I know has put his heart and soul into trying to do good by the young people of Leeds – I’m so sorry that you have been left without options.
and Cheryl Dockerty added:
So sad to read this .. my son Connor Dockerty spent many happy days volunteering here and it led to him getting his first job .. it was more than just a ‘skate park ‘ it has helped people like my son make a future for themselves xx
A glimmer of hope was shed by Cllr Paul Wray (Hunslet & Riverside) who Tweeted:
“I’ve just had a productive chat about it. I can’t say much but hopefully, with a bit of effort, some good news ahead.”
If you would like any further information about the closure, or if you have outstanding bookings or ongoing contracts you are asked to contact either Tosh@theworksskatepark.com or Carl@theworksskatepark.com.