BOSSES at a Bolton ten-pin bowling alley have pleaded with the Government to protect jobs by allowing them to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown.

The owners of Hollywood Bowl have said that, unless the alley at the Middlebrook retail park and others around the country are able to open soon, there is a risk that jobs may be lost and businesses may be forced to close.

It comes after much of the hospitality and leisure sector, including pubs and restaurants, returned to trading from July 4.

In line with Government guidelines about reopening, Hollywood Bowl says it has already implemented 'extensive' measures to ensure its centres are safe and ready to welcome back customers.

Stephen Burns, Chief Executive at Hollywood Bowl Group, said: “Ten-pin bowling is a sector that is ready to operate in a Covid secure manner.

"We have worked incredibly hard to ensure we are adhering to the operational protocols around social distancing policies, capacity management and sanitisation and are more than ready to welcome back friends and families to enjoy themselves in a fun and safe environment within our spacious centres.”

The bowling alley operator further claimed that its centres have a number of factors in their favour which should encourage moves to reopen them.

These include that that their centres are said to be 'well-ventilated, large, open spaces' which can be 'easily adapted for social distancing'.

Moreover, bowling balls are made of low-risk material, the operator claimed, citing that they are non-porous and 'easy to sanitise' between games.

Calls for bowling alleys to reopen have also been echoed by traders groups.

Gary Brimble, general secretary at the Ten Pin Bowling Proprietors Association, said: “Bowling centres have been closed for more than three months and fully expected to be reopening with other hospitality and leisure businesses on July 4.

"Our Covid-safe measures allow for a safe environment for both our customers and staff and our spacious layouts are easily adapted for social distancing.

"Let’s get bowling again, bring some fun back for our customers, protect the jobs of the 8,000 staff and prevent the closure of many bowling centres.”