Indoor Play Face Closures
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Two-Thirds of Indoor Play Centres Face Closure without Government Support
A new survey by the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) has revealed nearly two-thirds of indoor play centre could close by October without additional support.
The non-profit-making trade association, which has more than 400 members and represents over 180 indoor play centres, is urging the government to provide emergency help. The survey, which included more than 60 different indoor play businesses, revealed 18% would have to close
by the end of August, 24% by the end of September and a further 22% by the end of October.
“In total that’s almost two-thirds warning they will go out of business within four months unless something is done, which quite frankly is terrifying,” said BALPPA chief executive Paul Kelly.
“We’re imploring the government to step in and help save these operations from disaster. Whether it’s extra grants or an extension to the furlough scheme, something needs to be done to avoid an impending catastrophe in the leisure and tourism industry,” he added.
While warmly welcoming the re-opening of many visitor attractions, leisure and hospitality businesses, BALPPA is concerned and confused by the differing standards required for different areas of the industry.
“It’s obviously great news that so many places are now being allowed to open up again, with restaurants, hotels, pubs and many indoor visitor attractions set to re-open at the weekend,” said Paul.
“However indoor bowling centres, indoor play areas and other indoor-based leisure operations are ready and eager to get back to work safely with track and tracing of guests, additional hygiene facilities, social distancing and capacity control.
“A growing number of our members are already reporting job losses and, once these businesses close, it will be extremely difficult for them to be able to re-open,” he added.
BALPPA fears the closures will have a knock-on effect on surrounding businesses and will disproportionately affect areas that rely on tourism for revenue and employment.
“These closures don’t just affect the businesses themselves, but their suppliers, neighbouring operators and, of course, the many thousands of young families who visit them each week.
“Free play and physical activity are incredibly important in the development of young children and to not support businesses that provide something that has a proven positive effect on wellbeing seems incredibly
short-sighted” he added.
Founded in 1936, BALPPA is the non-profit-making Trade Association representing the interests of owners, managers, suppliers and developers in the UK’s commercial leisure parks, piers, zoos, family entertainment centres (indoor play and soft play centres) and static visitor attractions sector.
For more information on BALPPA visit www.balppa.org
Issued on behalf of BALPPA by Flamingo Marketing. For more information please contact: Nikki Smith
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