Rollerworld facing closure without funding support
- Credit: Archant
A popular Essex skating rink is facing permanent closure unless it can find funding support to survive the latest Covid-19 lockdown.
Owners of the family-run Rollerworld, in Colchester, have appealed for help to save the venue, which celebrated its 30th birthday in May last year.
Since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, Rollerworld has spent seven months closed to the public. It is unlikely to reopen until late spring, due to the pandemic.
Owners Jason and Anne Khan say the large venue, which also has a karaoke room, is losing more than £5,000 per week, taking in rent payments and overhead costs.
Mrs Khan said: "As you can imagine, it's been a real struggle this last year. We're coming up to a whole year closed, give or take a few weeks in September and October.
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"With restrictions, being open didn't really help very much and now being closed this year as well, and probably until April, if not May, we're really struggling to get those bills paid.
"We're going to need a bit of a hand to keep Rollerworld open and keep Rollerworld going for another 30 years."
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A Crowdfunder page has been launched by the venue, with the aim of raising £10,000 through a Pay It Forward scheme which offers rewards in return for donations.
"We're really grateful for all the help and support that everybody has given us over this last year.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine, unfortunately the tunnel's still a little bit too long at the moment," she said.
"This is why we're having to ask people for more support. Let's keep Rollerworld going, let's keep Rollerworld rolling."
More than £6,500 has already been raised and the owners say the money will go towards fixed overheads for the next eight months, rent, utilities, building upkeep, stock replacement and staff costs not covered by furlough.
The couple added: "If we close, Rollerworld will close forever and Colchester, the UK and Europe will not see a facility like this again.
"This makes us so sad as we have fought so hard to keep it open throughout these terrible times, but we are now rapidly running out of funds."
To make a donation to Rollerworld, visit the Crowdfunder page here.