CAMPAIGNERS are calling for Rush Skatepark and other Brimscombe Port businesses to be allowed to remain open until January 2022.

The businesses are due to vacate the site by the end of this month, ahead of the redevelopment of Brimscombe Port.

But the businesses have struggled to find new premises due to the pandemic and campaigners say they should be given more time.

Additionally, they say the skatepark is a much needed resource for young people after a year of coronavirus restrictions.

Stroud District Council will discuss two options - to seek vacant possession of the units by the end of June, or to grant new leases to tenants - at its strategy and resources committee meeting on Thursday.

Resident Debbie Bird will be addressing the meeting, backing the case for an extension, and she has also started a petition, which has so far been signed by over 3,500 people.

She said: “We believe the closure is very unfair to users of the skatepark and on local children, in particular, given that it will come just before the school holidays. We also believe that Rush can offer a ‘slice of normality’ to many people, in particular families and children who have had a very disrupted year.

“Although all the businesses have been aware that they would be asked to vacate, no allowance has been made for the impact of the pandemic on efforts to find alternative homes for the businesses and to protect jobs.”

“We understand that the council does not currently have a developer engaged or ready to carry out the building work at the site. We believe that there is a high likelihood that the site will be empty and development won’t go ahead for a number of years once the buildings have been demolished.”

A council spokesman said: “Stroud District Council has supported RUSH Skatepark at Brimscombe Port for many years, and reiterates the appeal for anyone with suitable premises to come forward.

“RUSH has been aware of the terms of its leases, and the council has offered more lease extensions until the end of June 2021.

“Delaying vacation of the properties any further could put £2.776m of external funding at risk – the council has already invested £1.1million in the site as well, to bring back the canal and basin and redevelop the site into an exemplar and sustainable community, integrated with the existing surroundings.

“On Thursday, June 10, Strategy and Resources Committee will consider when vacant possession is required from tenants; forming the start of redevelopment at Brimscombe Port.

“The report states that in April 2018 Strategy and Resources Committee agreed to grant a ground lease of land at Stratford Park to RUSH, subject to detailed terms and planning permission being secured and RUSH funding build costs. Unfortunately RUSH has been unable to progress those plans.

“RUSH has continued to seek alternative premises, but buildings of the size required are relatively few. Regardless of the redevelopment plans, RUSH needs a new, well maintained building with a secure future.

“The committee will also consider rental arrears, which although now owed to the Council, largely pre-date the Council’s ownership of the site. Approval is likely to be sought at a later date to formally write off some or all of the sums owed.

“Due to the confidential nature of some of the matters to be discussed, media and public may be excluded for part of the meeting. However, we recognise the interest in this agenda item, so have arranged for part of it to be heard in public. The meeting is open to the public, but due to the legal requirement for social distancing, only six members of the public can be admitted at any one time.

“The law does not allow for meetings to be held online as they were before May this year.”

The report which the committee will consider can be viewed here:

Papers for the meeting can be viewed at:

To find out more about SDC's vision for Brimscombe Port, visit: