Save our skatepark: Petition started to reopen popular Yarmouth spot
- Credit: Geraldine Scott
A community is campaigning to save a much-loved skatepark which has proved to be a popular attraction for more than a decade.
The Park Warehouse BMX and skateboard park, in Main Cross Road, Great Yarmouth, opened after the turn of the new millennium, attracting extreme sports fans from across the region.
But regulars were dismayed when they found the venue had closed, with a notice on the door explaining this was the case 'until further notice'.
The skatepark is run by a private company, and the status of this company is listed as active on the Companies House website.
However, a post on the firm's Facebook page in July states: 'As you may have already heard we're selling up. If you're interested in owning your own indoor skatepark please drop us a private message (serious enquiries only).'
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Companies House lists businessman Gavin Brewer, of Caister, as one of the firm's directors.
He could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.
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Unsure of the venue's future, two local skaters have taken matters into their own hands and started a petition to save the popular destination in Main Cross Road, which has gained more than 1,500 signatures in 48 hours.
They want to find out what is happening, prove that there is demand for the skatepark and have indicated that a community group could be formed with a view to taking on the business.
'We turned up and there was a 'closed until further notice' sign on the door,' said Brad Barber, from Caister. 'We don't know too much about why it closed, but I've been down there a couple of weekends since and all the ramps have been ripped out. We thought that we had to do something.
'So me and my friend Jake Filmer started a petition to get some support, it'd be a great loss to the community if it doesn't reopen.'
The 14,000sq ft skatepark first launched in 2001, and welcomed everyone from skateboarders, to BMXers, and bladers to those who ride scooters.
Brad remembers how previous owner Roger Smalley used to hold professional demonstrations and competitions, bringing in visitors from far and wide.
'People from all over Europe would come to skate there, it was even voted as the best and cleanest skate park in the UK in skateboarding magazine Sidewalk, they called it 'simply the best park in the country'.'
Comments on the petition, which was started on Tuesday, share memories from skating in the park, with many adding that without the skatepark they could have taken the wrong path in life.
Si Chang, 25, from Norwich, would often travel to Yarmouth to use the skatepark.
'I basically grew up skating there,' he said. 'It was the first skatepark I ever went to and every winter I would go weekly.'
The building's landlords Scroby Fayre were not available for comment at the time of going to print.
To find out more, or to sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/save-or-rebuild-the-great-yarmouth-indoor-skate-park