THE OWNER of an indoor play centre in Redditch has admitted he doesn’t know if it will survive the pandemic.

Imagination Street owner Kevin Grubb says despite trying to stay positive he isn’t confident the business will be able to continue.

Mr Grubb said: “This is twelve years of my life, it is not just a job, it is a place where I have met some of my greatest friends.

“The thought of having this place taken from me after so many wonderful years and almost half a million pounds of investment is terrifying.

“I am trying to stay pragmatic and positive about the situation, but honestly I am not confident. We do not yet have an opening date from the government but, even if we did, we would have to limit the number of people we let in so dramatically we would actually lose money by opening.

Hereford Times:

“We have got to a situation now where almost all our personal savings are in the business and we are running out of money very, very rapidly.

“I am so desperately hoping we can turn it around, I don’t mind if we're not making profit I just want us to be able to hold our ground until this is over. I will do anything it takes to keep our doors open.”

Imagination Street is a popular soft play centre in Redditch - but there are many others that have taken a severe financial hit during the pandemic.

A petition has been set up by the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions in an attempt to rescue the indoor play industry from extinction. It has already gained just under 30,000 signatures, including those from Mr Grubb and his 44 employees.

“We’ve had a huge amount of support from people who use these centres - they are embedded in our local communities,” said Paul Kelly, chief executive of BALPPA. “We want the government to tell us we can reopen, or tell us why we can’t. There are 1,100 centres and I can’t see them surviving if we don’t hear something soon. We are heading for a cliff edge.”