Bowling alley’s £50k coronavirus safety plan
PUBLISHED: 16:28 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:54 18 August 2020
A bowling alley has finally reopened, but its CEO has warned it could to two years for the company to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
Richardson’s Family Entertainment Centre, on Whapload Road, Lowestoft, welcomed back customers for the first time in months on Saturday, August 15, with a range of safety measures introduced to prevent the spread of the virus.
The centre is part of the Richardson’s group, which also runs a holiday park in Hemsby, as well as offering boat hire and sales for the Norfolk Broads, but CEO Greg Munford said it could take two years for the business to recover following the pandemic.
He said: “It has been great to have the team back together and to welcome back our regular customers.
“It has been an important part of their past time and it is great to be able to reopen.
“The last few months have been tough, but because the family entertainment centre is part of our wider leisure, hospitality and tourism business, it has allowed us to have a bit of a phased approach to reopening and getting back to normal.
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“Across the group, it has cost £50,000 to bring in everything, and as a company it will take us two years to get back to where we were before the pandemic.”
In October, the centre reopened after undergoing a £250,000 refurbishment to mark the company’s 75th anniversary year.
Mr Munford said: “We have got our Covid-19 safe protocols which, from the bowling alley’s point of view, have been fully tested from when we have reopened our boating operation and then holiday park.
“We are confident we can operate with all of the measures in place to keep our customers and staff safe.
“At the start you think you have a sign for everything then something is identified and you need to increase the number again.
“We have got hand sanitiser stations installed and our priority is still to keep our staff and customers safe.
“We have got our play area in Lowestoft too but at the moment we are not going to open it.
“We will take a longer view on that because with the guidance, which we have to follow, and to keep everyone safe, we wouldn’t be able to run it profitably right now.”
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