A BUILDER is opening one of the biggest indoor skating parks in the country in Doncaster.
The site is opening immediately and has created three jobs initially, with the possibility of more in the future.
Jamie Phillips, a dad-of-two from Mexborough, decided to set up the 12,000 square foot site next to North Bridge because his two young sons wanted somewhere safe to play with their bikes.
He has spent around £40,000 developing a former warehouse, and has done most of the building work himself with assistance from other tradesmen.
The facility has a viewing gallery for parents, and a café.
He based designs for the site on soft play centres for young children which are currently up and running around the country.
Mr Phillips said: “This is the biggest indoor facility of its size in this area.
“It also has a foam pit, where youngsters can practice stunts safely, and I don’t think there is anything like that within 150 miles of Doncaster.
“I have built up an area for parents, so they can watch their children and make sure they are safe.
“It is in a warehouse on Marshgate.”
He decided to build the centre because his children Ethan, aged 10, and Eddie, four, were interested in skate parks.
Doncaster BMX expert Dan Paley has tried out the site, called North Bridge Skate Park, he added.
Fire service officials have set a limit of 300 people attending the site, but Mr Phillips plans to set his own limit of around 120 so there will be enough space for youngsters to use the ramps.
He added: “I’m a builder by trade and I’ve spent the last 12 weeks working until 4am to get things finished.”
He expects the new facility will attract visitors from beyond Doncaster.
Three staff have initially been taken on to work in the café section.
Mr Phillips is hopeful more may be taken on in the future if the centre takes off.
Among the admirers of the new centre is former England skateboard champion, Steve Gratton, from Sprotbrough. He was among the people behind the skate park at Anchorage Road, in Sprotbrough.
He said: “As far as I’m aware the nearest centre with a foam pit is in Corby, which is around two hours’ drive away from Doncaster.
“I think this is very important for Doncaster. It is a long time coming and it means there is somewhere to ride when the weather is bad.”