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Rollerworld taking “every measure” to keep skaters safe upon reopening

PUBLISHED: 20:34 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:34 08 July 2020

Rollerworld is asking for skaters to donate to their Crowdfunder to help them stay afloat Picture: SIMON PARKER

Rollerworld is asking for skaters to donate to their Crowdfunder to help them stay afloat Picture: SIMON PARKER

Owners of one of the best rollerskating rinks in Europe are ready to welcome back customers – but are drastically reducing their capacity to ensure everyone feels safe.

Screens have been installed at every counter in Colchester's Rollerworld Picture: ROLLERWORLDScreens have been installed at every counter in Colchester's Rollerworld Picture: ROLLERWORLD

DX’s Rollerworld in Colchester, which opened just over 30 years ago, was forced to close when the nationwide lockdown was announced.

Since then it has lost tens of thousands of pounds in revenue and has watched other businesses and attractions open around them while their return date is pushed back, initially July 4 but now delayed until July 18.

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Co-owner Jason Khan says he and the team at the rink have met or exceeded every measure to keep the public safe upon their return, including limiting the number of people allowed inside to just 25% of capacity. “Government guidelines say we could be at 50% and we will have it under review, but we are keeping it at 25% for now,” he said.

The entire building has been cleaned from top to bottom during the four-month closure of the leisure facility Picture: ROLLERWORLDThe entire building has been cleaned from top to bottom during the four-month closure of the leisure facility Picture: ROLLERWORLD

“We announced we were aiming for July 18 as a reopening date and we want to assure people it is safe to come back here, we have taken every measure we have been asked to and more.

“There are screens up on the counters, we’ll have hand sanitiser available and more for sale, and staff will be on the rink making sure people keep a safe distance and surfaces are wiped down.

“This is a huge indoor space and we have an air circulation system here – it’s hard to believe we are hundreds of times the size of a Boeing 747 here but you can get on a plane full of people for hours and fly to another country.”

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Co-owners Anne and Jason Khan have launched a Crowdfunder to help keep the business running, with more than £6,000 already donated Picture: ROLLERWORLDCo-owners Anne and Jason Khan have launched a Crowdfunder to help keep the business running, with more than £6,000 already donated Picture: ROLLERWORLD

Mr Khan and his wife Anne took over at Rollerworld in 2018 and have maintained its reputation as one of the best rinks in Europe.

The cost of keeping the business running has forced them to turn to crowdfunding, with their loyal customers digging deep and donating more than £6,000 so far.

Mr Khan said that the government needed to make sure the leisure industry was supported as lockdown eases and the benefits to the country could help reduce the burden on the NHS.

“We aren’t just a leisure facility here, we are a health facility, we are keeping people active.

Capacity at Rollerworld has been limited to 25% in order to allow all visitors to keep a comfortable social distance on and off the rink Picture: ROLLERWORLDCapacity at Rollerworld has been limited to 25% in order to allow all visitors to keep a comfortable social distance on and off the rink Picture: ROLLERWORLD

“Leisure is a £100billion a year industry in the UK and we can help keep people healthy, but it’s hard to help when you aren’t allowed to open.”

Mr Khan says Rollerworld will be ready to open after his staff have undergone a three-day training course to learn about the new measures in place and a video will be shared on their social media channels with more information on what customers can expect when they return.

• You can donate to the Rollerworld Crowdfunder here.


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