'Bounciest trampolines, biggest ball pit in county' and much more at new £3.2m Northampton adventure centre
A multi-million pound 'adventure centre' has something for everyone and will be a major new addition to Northampton town centre, according to the owners.
The 30,000sqft former Gala Bingo site at Sol Central on Marefair is being filled with all sorts of activities and games as well as food, drink and live music.
The £3.2 million Gravity Active Entertainment centre will feature 'the bounciest trampolines and the biggest ball pit in Northamptonshire', a Total Wipeout-style swinging arm and a New York City-themed mini-golf, darts and bowling area.
Gravity co-founder Michael Harrison gave the Chronicle & Echo an exclusive tour of the site ahead of the expected opening in February.
"It's going to be a great space for young and old, we've got everything here for the family and then, on an evening, there will be no better place to come for a beer and to enjoy all the different activities we've got going on," he said.
The upstairs part of the centre will be geared towards children's birthday parties with the trampolines in the middle, which Michael said have new springs that make them extra bouncy.
There will be a ball pool filled with 250,000 clear balls and lights, the obstacle course swinging arm, the climbing wall, a five-a-side football pitch and a cafe ran by Wafflemeister.
"This will be the number one offering for children's birthday parties in the county," Michael added.
Downstairs will be an adult playground called 'Caddy Shack', which is Gravity's take on the combination of games, food and drink.
The adventure golf will run through the centre with a bowling alley in one corner, darts in another, a stage for live music as well as a bar serving American street food, craft beers, spirits and soft drinks.
Caddy Shack will be decorated to look like the Lower East Side of Manhattan with its own Central Park, yellow taxis, booths, 'sidewalks', iron fencing and the ceiling painted like a dusky-sky.
Michael hopes families will come to enjoy what is on offer in the day but will stay open late for the grown-ups to have fun until the early hours.
"It's going to be such a fun environment to be in. it will be Northampton's coolest place, there are no two ways about it, and this will be the first Caddy Shack to open in the UK," he said.
Gravity currently runs 11 similar centres across the UK as well as one in Saudi Arabia and another due to open in Germany.
Michael said the Northampton site, which is creating 60 new jobs, will be affordable and contribute to the ongoing regeneration of the town centre.
"We've seen what Northampton is trying to do to regenerate and that's why we've chosen to invest the money in Northampton," he said.
"We believe in the town, we believe in the people of Northampton and this sort of money spent on leisure hasn't happened for some time now.
"We need to breathe some life into this end of the town and this does that."