It's game on at Bolton's Market Place Shopping Centre as a gaming experience was officially opened today.

Game Vault has opened in The Vaults with representatives from charity Breaking Barriers North West invited to the official launch.

The Game Vault is home to VR experiences, classic Pacman, dancing, air hockey, car racing, shooter games, interactive darts, and lots of children’s games including frog jump, where they hit the frogs jumping up to score points.

The centre had a soft launch last week with business partners Craig Holden, Martin Pritchard, and Pete Jackson, saying it has already been well received by families.

Speaking today at the launch, Martin said: “We are really excited today, it has been hard work getting it set up, but it is going to be worth the rewards.

“We had the soft opening last week and that has gone really well, and I think it helped with it being half term for some schools but this week already we have had an influx of people.

“Today there has been people queueing to get in, so we are good to go, game on.

“We have had an extremely positive response from social media, and we have had people enquiring for party bookings, people have said this is something Bolton needed, and we have had good conversations with Breaking Barriers too about it bringing something for the community, giving them something to do.”

The Bolton News: Inside the Game VaultInside the Game Vault (Image: NQ)Martin said Game Vault is a passion project for himself and his business partner Craig.

He said: “I run a separate business and Craig runs his own business and this is a new venture for us both to invest in and set up and we have both enjoyed games all of our lives, so this is like a passion project, and we are hoping it is good for everyone and not just us two.

“We feel like kids again.”

Breaking Barriers North West, a charity which aims to raise awareness and challenge the barriers to inclusion in society for disabled children and young people, officially launched the new gaming centre.

The Bolton News: Craig Holden, Martin Pritchard, Douglas McLauchlan with Breaking Barriers member of staffCraig Holden, Martin Pritchard, Douglas McLauchlan with Breaking Barriers member of staff (Image: NQ)

Douglas McLauchlan, a counsellor at the charity said: “Some of the work we do in the centre here is working with young kids with autism and special educational needs and so a lot of things we do are about giving opportunities.

“So, we like to link with other units and other activities available to host events that we can do and one thing that I think is good particularly for kids with autism is gaming.

“It is something that is really positive, it gets you out for social interaction and it is an opportunity that I think people really get a lot out of.

“To have something like this in the centre of town is really nice and is a place we are going to link with in the future.”

Every game at the centre takes game coins bought from the front desk, with five tokens for £5, 12 tokens for £10, and 25 tokens for £25.

Anyone can turn up on the day to try out the games, open Monday to Sunday between the hours of 11am and 9pm.

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