A keen skateboarder has set up his first business to keep alive the memory of a friend.
Matthew Moore, 21, has unveiled the Haze Skate Store in the indoor market of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.
It is Matthew’s first venture into the business world and he decided to do it in memory of his friend Stephen Binks, 36, who died in February.
Stephen, from Yarm, set up the Mischief skate store in Stockton in 1996 and he was known throughout the region’s skateboard scene.
His death shocked the community and Matthew, who lives in the Foggy Furze area of Hartlepool, said: “This is my first business but I wanted to do it to keep the skateboarding movement going in the North-East.
“Stephen was one of my friends. I needed to open something for the skateboarders of the North-East.” Stephen was known to have been behind projects to get skate parks built across the North-East and also created videos to inspire others in the sport.
Matthew, who attended English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College and Hartlepool College of Further Education, has opened his own business with support from his mum Brenda.
He said: “I have had a lot of support from Hartlepool Enterprise Centre. My aim is to hopefully move into bigger premises but stay in Hartlepool.”
Haze supplies skateboarding goods ranging from wheels to decks and clothing and caters for all levels of fans from beginners to experts.
Matthew, who has been skateboarding for 12 years, said: “We have only been open a short while but we have already had lots of interest, especially on the website.
“We have had a lot of skateboarders coming along to the store to have a look as well.”