South Leeds: Centre delays rain on half term kids’ events

Work continues on Middleton Park's new lakeside centre. PIC: Tony Johnson
Work continues on Middleton Park's new lakeside centre. PIC: Tony Johnson
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CHILDREN’S half term park events have been cancelled after building delays left the Friends of Middleton Park with nowhere to go.

A circus skills workshop and two children’s play activity sessions, from October 30 to November 1, have had to be cancelled as Middleton Park’s new Lakeside Centre, which was supposed to be finished in August, is not yet available.

The delays, which are due to previous bad weather and builders needing the south Leeds centre’s interior space as they install shutters, come after the start of building was put back by two months last year.

Frances Jones, from the Friends of Middleton Park, said: “Last year it was fairly well attended so it’s a shame we don’t have the opportunity to build on that.

“It [the visitor centre] was due to be handed over in August and obviously it’s frustrating but we are very proud we have managed to deliver a complete summer programme in spite of the difficulties.”

Asked to give a date on when the visitor centre will be complete, Ms Jones said: “I’ve given up on setting dates.”

Once open, the visitor centre’s cafe, which could be open before Christmas, will be run by people with learning difficulties from the Leeds City Council’s adult social care service on weekdays, from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

The rest of the park’s £2m regeneration project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the council, Wade’s Charity and the Sir George Martin Trust, features the installation of a new bandstand, redeveloped rose garden and more park entrances.

A council spokeswoman said the council was “very disappointed” that Bermar builders had not met a revised October 19 handover date but could not give a new completion date.

She said: “While we regret that events planned by the Friends of Middleton Park for the upcoming half term holiday have had to be cancelled, we must ensure that the building is handed over complete, safe, secure and fit for purpose.”

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