BALPPA has launched the Rescue Indoor Play campaign aimed at protecting a sector currently at threat of 64 percent closure within three months without government support.
The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions has launched the RIP – Rescue Indoor Play campaign in order to highlight the precarious position the industry is in as a result of prolonged closure.
Petitioning the prime minister to rescue indoor play, BALPPA revealed the sector – which includes 180 of its members – is facing the prospect of 64 percent of sites closing by October if no further support is issued.
“Over the past month, more than 20 of our members have gone out of business, and a survey we conducted showed that nearly two-thirds of the remaining centres will permanently shut by October,” said BALPPA CEO Paul Kelly.
“The indoor play sector already has Covid-secure guidelines signed off by the Health and Safety Executive, Public Health England and the Government. The financial support given by the Chancellor last week can only add value to those allowed to re-open. Without further financial support, the very future of this entire sector is at risk.”
In addition to the damage being done to businesses, BALPPA also stated it has received feedback from young families concerned by the potential long-term damage being done to the health and wellbeing of children.
“Throughout this pandemic children have been an overlooked group in decisions taken by government,” said Kelly. “The mental and physical health of children is especially important in an age group that is the least vulnerable to the virus and also the least able to comprehend the enormity of the situation.”
“The National Children’s Bureau has called on government to put children as a third pillar of their recovery strategy, alongside health and the economy. They have been backed in their campaign by over 160 organisations, from teaching unions to children’s charities. But the government has not yet listened.”
The Rescue Indoor Play petition has a target of 25,000 signatories, and has already been signed by 16,500 people.
The petition is posted on campaign website Change.org, with those involved in or supporting the indoor play industry urged to add their names and raise awareness of the campaign.
Operators back BALPPA petition
BACKING THE RIP CAMPAIGN
Indoor play attractions across the UK have urged their customers to support RIP – Rescue Indoor Play, in order to help the industry avoid “extinction.”
Operators such as Southend’s Adventure Island have taken to social media to raise awareness for the campaign, and its accompanying petition.
“We, and soft play centres all over the country, need your help once more,” said a spokesperson for Adventure Island.
“The indoor play industry is facing extinction.” “Please, sign and share this petition and help save our, and your, soft play centres.”
BALPPA has already shared the petition with its 400 members, and urged each organisation to broadcast the appeal to customers and friends.
The petition is directly addressed to Boris Johnson, and can be found under the title Rescue the Indoor Play Industry from Closure on website Change.org.