A BOLTON firm has launched a fresh bid to open an escape room game venue in the town centre.

Company bosses at new venture 'No Exit Rooms' said they were devastated when council officers blocked plans to open up the new leisure facility in an empty unit in Market Street because it did not fit with a retail-led policy.

Undeterred, the team behind the venture has now submitted new plans, which would see them take over the first floor of a vacant building, based at 95-101 in Bark Street.

Like with the last application, the game would involve teams of between two and five people being locked in a room for up to an hour and tasked with finding clues, solving puzzles and breaking codes in a bid to successfully find a way out.

It is also predicted that if the new business’s plans are approved, it will create at least eight full-time and three part-time jobs, with the possibility of more roles dependent on the success of the venture.

Escape room games have become increasingly popular in the Far East and in Europe in recent years and have now started to appear across towns and cities in this country.

The firm was surprised and disappointed to see its last application turned down and will be helping for a different result this time around.

A spokesman said: “This form of leisure activity will have a positive impact on the town centre’s vitality and viability.

“The application site has been on the market for over a year and there has been no firm interest in its use for offices.

“The application site lies in the heart of Bolton Town Centre and is very close to Knowsley Street, with its high pedestrian footfall and excellent bus services.

“The proposed use is entirely consistent with planning policies for Bolton Town Centre and there are no adverse impacts that could arise from operating the use as proposed and benefits will arise by diversifying the town centre’s offer and attracting people to visit.”

The plans will now be analysed by the council’s planning officers.