The owner of a children’s indoor play centre in Westhoughton has spoken about the lack of government guidance for the industry.

Catalina Sastre-Done, who runs the Party and Play Funhouse based in Wingates Industrial Estate, says she fears for the future of her business and of her staff if she can’t reopen soon.

Lockdown restrictions have been eased in England over recent weeks with many businesses allowed to reopen while others, such as indoor gyms, have been given the go ahead to open later in the month.

However, there has been no mention of a reopening date for indoor play centres.

She said: “It’s devastating, there’s no clear guidance at all. I’ve been working away in the background putting measures in place. But nobody is telling us anything, we do not know what we are meant to be doing.

“We’re setting up online bookings, temperature checks, contactless payments and a one-way system.

“The ball pit has been removed and we have size on our side, but still no information on when we can reopen.

“Parents have called me asking when they can return, obviously not all of them will come back but many are happy to visit us which gives me faith.

“It would be really sad to close because we’re there for the community and local families.

“If I don’t get a date soon staff redundancies will happen because I can’t afford to subsidise the furlough scheme if I don’t have money coming in.

“It’s very frustrating, we just need some direction. Whether it’s good or bad we need to know.”

According to a survey conducted by the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA), 64% of their members who run indoor play centres say they will have to close by the end of October if they do not get a reopening date.

A petition has now been set up calling for clearer government guidance.

Paul Kelly, chief executive officer of the BALPPA, said: “Our play centres have been fulfilling their covid secure protocols, they have systems in place for social distancing and sanitation.

“We’re asking the government for recognition of the industry.

“Out of 180 members, 64% said that they will have to close by the end of October if we do not get a reopening date or support.

“The industry is desperate now, it is incredibly difficult for these business to move forward without a date; leases cannot be renewed on buildings and staff cannot be organised. It’s hugely frustrating because without a date or any information we can’t do anything."

“We’ve had an enormous response so far, we’ve already had over 15,000 signatures in less than a week.

“These play centres are important to local communities, people don’t travel far to use them and it would be easy to do test and trace.

“We need the government to give us a date or tell us what we need to do in order to reopen, it’s as simple as that.”