The owners of one of the biggest indoor skateparks in Europe which hosted international competitions attracting thousands of visitors from around the world have launched a desperate last-minute appeal to find a new home.
Jerry and Michelle Norman opened Rush Skatepark in 2013 at Brimscombe Port near Stroud.
The site was originally taken on with both the Normans and Stroud District Council agreeing on a contract that included a break-clause should either party decide to act upon it.
Little did the community know what Rush was about to bring to the table.
Since opening, Rush Skatepark has become established as a big player within the international skatepark community, offering a world class facility that has catered to riders of all levels, from grass-roots beginners all the way up to active, competing professional riders from the now Olympic sports of Skateboarding and BMX as well as up and coming action sports, scootering and inline skating which have seen an incredible surge in popularity since Rush opened in 2013.
Since this time, Rush skatepark has hosted national and international competitions including the World Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2019, attracting thousands of people to the Stroud area from all over the world.
As a Community Interest Company, Rush Skatepark are also known for their well-established coaching program which has been run and developed alongside experienced coaches from all disciplines since 2014. This program, alongside their world class facilities and rider support program has led to Rush helping the development and progression of thousands of riders, local and otherwise, including a British champion and European champion.
Now the famed Rush Skatepark faces having to close its doors permanently.
The couple’s lease runs out at the end of June – and despite spending the past four years searching in and around Gloucestershire viewing 15 potential sites to find a new base, the couple have drawn a complete blank.
“There must be somewhere out there which can offer us a more permanent home,” said Jerry. “We need a warehouse-style unit at least 7m in height, with parking and safe access for the public.
“Most of the sites we looked at which might have been suitable are earmarked for housing or supermarkets. We would love to stay around Stroud but of course we’re willing to look further for the right site. We are appealing to site owners across the county to hold out a hand to us.”
Jerry added that Stroud District Council had been very supportive over the years and tried hard to help find a new home, even suggesting land at the Council-owned Stratford Park which unfortunately turned out to be a no go due to circumstances outside of Rush Skatepark’s control.
Jerry and Michelle have also been working with The Grace Network, their neighbours at Brimscombe Port, who run the Stroud District Furniture Bank, The Long Table, Stroud District Kids Stuff, Kick Off Stroud and other social businesses which are also facing the end of their lease, looking at options for a joint site which could benefit both organisations in terms of footfall, funding and overheads.