An indoor skatepark run by a charity has confirmed its sudden closure.
The Works Skatepark closed its doors for the last time at 4pm today.
The facility's management did not go into further detail on their Facebook page, saying only that the closure was due to 'circumstances beyond our control.' Their website appears to have been taken offline.
The park, which welcomes skateboarders, inline skaters, BMX and scooter riders, is run by not-for-profit organisation The Works in a converted industrial unit on Kitson Road in Hunslet. The charity also runs an education academy and aims to tackle inequality through providing sports and recreation opportunities for young people.
Annual membership of the skatepark was only £15 and sessions were priced affordably.
The 20,000-sq.ft facility had international-standard ramps and coaching was available. In summer 2017 they received a £40,000 grant from Biffa and the Leeds Community Foundation to install new equipment. In 2015 they were given £20,000 from Veolia.
It first opened in 2003, and at the time was Europe's largest indoor skatepark with ambitions to host international competitions.
The closure announcement has shocked parents whose children used the skatepark as well as adult skaters.
Karen Marchment said: "My son has lost his job there today. He’s gutted - he started going there when he was about 12 with myself often driving him there for the whole day. He volunteered there for years then three years ago got a job coaching and working on reception, a job he loved. It kept him off the streets, gave him a social life with lots of friends. Let’s hope there’s a lifeline out there or an entrepreneur who can take the park forward. So many children sit at home on iPads or Xbox. This is a healthy place to go to. It’s a loss."
Karl Neville added: "Massive loss to the skateboarding community. The Works has been a mainstay of winter skateboarding for years. Sad fact is skateparks are a bad business proposition in the summer, everyone skates outdoors so revenue is too low. The good summer last year probably made that even worse. The council should take over the park and make it public."
Michele Dickinson said: "This is such sad news, this place was my lifeline when my son was growing up. The staff always went that extra mile, it was like a extended family. So many kids will miss out on a culture that has taken years to build. Here’s hoping that there is a way forward with the skatepark."
Gemma Holmes-Reid posted: "This is so awful and I really hope this is temporary and also hope everyone is OK. My son and his friends absolutely love this place and will be devastated at this news. Not enough good places for kids to go and hang out while doing something they love in a safe environment."
Lewis Smith commented: "Hope everything is OK guys. I've been skating here since day one and this park made me the person I am today. The park would be a huge loss to the skating scene."
Patrick Hyatt added: "Been coming to the park since I was 14 years old, this place has seen me through every winter since then. So unbelievably sad to see this happen, much love to everyone involved for the hospitality and support of our community over the years. We won’t forget you guys!"
The Works have been approached for further comment.