A crowdfunding appeal has been set up to raise money to convert an empty warehouse in Palmers Green into a roller skating rink. The project promises to provide a "compelling destination" which will attract people to the area, give a "vital spark" to the regeneration of Palmers Green, bring the community together and boost social inclusion.
The company behind the project, Roller Station, has previously run events at weekends using space rented from Aylward Academy in Silver Street, Edmonton. It is now seeking to raise £103,052 to cover the costs of creating its own dedicated rink and cafe/bar.
Roller Station has already applied for planning permission for a change of use of the building, in Lodge Drive, and expects to receive permission while the crowdfunding campaign is still running, but if unsuccessful no funds will be transferred to the project delivery manager.
Laverne Johnson, who set up Roller Station in 2015 with help from her son and daughter, says that the new rink will have many benefits for Palmers Green and the wider borough:
"Having a designated roller rink will bring people together, build links, reduce social isolation and give people access to learning, develop skills and work opportunities.
"It is vitally important that we provide a safe and welcoming space where the community can socialise together. Our social purpose is to benefit the borough by providing a vibrant space in the heart of Palmers Green, giving children, adults and families a place to build their social and communication skills while having fun.
"Roller skating not only gives an overall body workout, but is great for health, physical and mental wellbeing.
"Our family membership scheme will enhance the community experience and will ensure that irrespective of income everyone can participate.
"This project will help to boost the local economy by offering employment/training opportunities and will promote community cohesion as this is a fun activity for everyone to enjoy."
Palmers Green's first roller skating rink
If the Roller Station project goes ahead, it won't be Palmers Green's first roller skating rink. The first, built in 1910, still stands today, but since 1912 has been used as a bus garage.
On the opening day of the Rosalie Skating Rink a crowd of 700 people took to the maple floor to the accompaniment of a full military band, but unfortunately it seems that roller skating quickly went out of fashion and the rink closed in 1912.
Let's hope that Roller Station keep going for much longer!
Photograph courtesy of Enfield Local Studies.
Laverne Johnson is a graduate of Enterprise Enfield's Inspiring Women programme, which she joined after being made redundant. Inspiring Women is a business support programme specifically designed for women to start and establish their own businesses, as well as grow and sustain existing early stage businesses. All services are free, thanks to support by the European Regional Development Fund.
In feedback at the end of the course, Laverne commented that:
"The individual support given has been invaluable. The suggestions given have helped me to approach things from various angles. So much great information, real structure, endless tips and so motivational. Every single session has been educational, challenging and so rewarding. The programme has given me the push and insight needed to complete my Business Plan."
Enterprise Enfield is currently recruiting for the next 3-month course, starting in May. Applicants first need to attend one of the free Steps to Starting Your Own Business taster sessions. Presumably the UK's exit from the European Union at the end of January means that in future the courses will no longer be available free of charge.