Leeds first 24 hour gaming zone is set to open on Church Walk – but some residents have objected.
Despite concerns for local residents and local police, Jamie Nelson, manager of E-Den has high hopes that the “eSports gaming centre” will get children off the streets and decrease anti-social behaviour in the surrounding areas.
Nelson strongly denies claims that the gaming den may encourage drug use. “It’s the surrounding area that’s the problem, not us”. “I’ve got state of the art PCs, consoles and I wouldn’t let those type of people in”.
“I am already hand in hand with solicitor’s to create a children’s charity in the hope of cleaning up the park area, it’s self-policing as well as creating an attraction for children”.
Under 17s must be accompanied by an adult and must vacate the premises by 10pm. E-Den will have an extensive range of game consoles, a café and a bar.
PC Mark Fox, from Leeds expressed concern. “It may attract the wrong audience in those areas due to his knowledge of Leeds and local businesses may suffer as a result of it.” said PC Fox. “If it runs like a youth centre until a reasonable hour with supervision then it’s a good concept”.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claimed local businesses and the police think “the name is inappropriate and will attract drug users and street drinkers.”
Originally, Leeds City Council objected to E-Den serving alcohol until 6am. One of the reasons being that “the new bar is in close proximity to Twinkles, a nursery for babies” on authority of Leeds City Council. The company was granted the license when changing his last serving time to 1.30am. Nelson said “over 18s will face the challenge 21 policy”.
Bartek Siemko, employee at second hand goods chain specialising in video games CeX said “everyone who works and shops here would love to go, I think it’s a great idea”.
E-Den will open in December.
By Amy Irvine and Sonya Karimkhanzand