That’s it, they’ve made a decision – and Go Ape won’t be coming to Leeds, at least, not to Roundhay Park anyway.
At the back end of last year, we told you about the Council’s plans to introduce a Go Ape treetop adventure centre at Roundhay Park. The city’s adrenaline-junkies loved the idea, but not everyone was as thrilled at the prospect – and now, after inviting residents to have their say on plans, the Council have decided not to go ahead with the new attraction.
“We were extremely keen from the very start that the public should be able to have their say on the idea of a high ropes adventure course at Roundhay Park and this was why we launched a public consultation. We have listened very closely to the views that were expressed,” Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and sustainability, told us. “It became very clear to us through the consultation that both lovers of Roundhay Park and some local residents in the area did have concerns regarding this proposal.”
The majority of the people who took part in the survey were against the plans, and it’s their opinions, along with further assessment of the space, that have led to this decision. But it’s not necessarily the end of the road, because while the Council may have ruled out Roundhay Park, they haven’t completely given up on the idea of finding a space for Go Ape.
“We have at the same time also recognised that there were people who contributed to the consultation who supported the idea of a facility opening in Leeds,” Councillor Yeadon explained. “We have therefore decided to explore alternative locations that may be more suited to host this type of attraction. I would really love to see a high ropes adventure course open in our city but only if we can find the right location for it.”
And she’s not the only one who would like to see it happen. We’d be keen to check it out ourselves – and the very idea to open a Go Ape adventure park here came from their customers. “We receive numerous requests from customers who have enjoyed Go Ape elsewhere, asking us to open in Leeds, nearer to where they live,” Ben Davies, head of business development at Go Ape, told us.
Roundhay Park may not have been the right choice for Go Ape, but there’s no doubt that it would be an asset to the city, not only giving locals a new attraction to try on the weekends, but also bringing tourists into the city from further afield. There are other benefits too. It would create 35 new jobs and secure an ongoing revenue stream for whichever park they finally go into – and yes, you can be critical of that, perhaps it is a way to make money, but with government funding diminishing with every year, we’re going to have to find new ways to protect and preserve our parklands.Cover image copyright Kelly Last licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.