SEAFRONT bosses are raring to go after being told bowling alleys and children's indoor play areas will be allowed to reopen this weekend.

From tomorrow (Saturday), casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, and indoor play areas will be permitted to open their doors to customers for the first time since the lockdown was imposed.

The restrictions were due to be eased on August 1, but a spike in coronavirus cases at the time resulted in them being paused for two weeks.

Billy Peak, direction of Clacton Pavilion, welcomed the move and was keen to reopen the historic attraction’s bowling alley and the new £140,000 indoor children’s adventure play centre - Swashbuckle’s – which only opened in February.


  • Play time - a youngster tries out the Pavilion's Swashbuckle's play centre.

Mr Peak said: “It was disappointing when the Government put off the reopening at the last moment two weeks ago – it wasn’t very much notice.

“We had taken staff off of furlough and we brought in perishable stock, which has gone to waste – so the delay did cost us.

“We are extremely happy we can now reopen – we have been anticipating this and are ready to go.

“Of course, we will have measures in place to ensure people’s safety, including social distancing.

“As far as the bowling is concerned, only every other lane will be in operation and groups will be limited to six people.

“We will be following other Government guidelines as well.”


  • We're back - Billy Peak at the Pavilion Bowl.

He added that the children’s play area will be thoroughly cleaned and it will be run in sessions with limited numbers.

“The reopening has been a long while coming," he added.

“We are in the same boat as everyone else and want to do what’s right and ensure everyone’s safety.

“But reopening now is great for the staff’s morale.

“We have had a lot of people ringing in to find out when we’re reopening the bowling and the play area.

“People really do want to be able to get out – albeit with safety measures in place.

“We have found that the majority of people have behaved extremely well.

“With the change in weather this weekend, having indoor activities back open is good news for us and provides something else to do for our visitors.

“We will be open tomorrow.”

The Betting and Gaming Council has welcomed the move for England, but has urged Scotland and Wales to follow suit, claiming many attractions "are on the brink".