Play centre shuts doors

Hippodome, St Annes
Hippodome, St Annes

FYLDE youngsters and their parents have been left shocked by the sudden closure of a St Annes play centre.

The Hippodome in Snowdon Road has ceased to trade and is set to go into insolvent liquidation next week.

But a spokesman for the firm of accountants to whom inquiries about the Hippodome’s fate have been directed via a note on the centre’s gate said it was hoped someone would come in and take over the site.

“We are still working with the director to determine the values of the assets and the extent of the liabilities,” said insolvency practitioner Ian Williamson, a partner in Campbell, Crossley and Davis of South Shore, Blackpool.

“However, there has been a fair amount of interest in taking over the site itself and we are talking to a number of interested parties.”

Mr Williamson was unable to confirm whether the interested parties would be willing to take on the centre as a going concern or how many staff were affected.

The Hippodome was opened in early 2008 by husband and wife team Mark and Jo McNulty and promoted itself as “the only play centre that really caters for children of every age”.

After its initial opening, the centre was later extended to include extra facilities and it was a popular venue for birthday parties.

“From our baby and toddler play areas up to our go-kart track, we believe we have it all covered from ages 0-12,” said the centre’s promotional literature.

Facilities included an astra slide, a sports area, a tube slide, arts and crafts, and an exclusive pottery painting studio. “You’ll be truly taken aback at what we believe is the next stage of Family Entertainment Centres,” added the promotions.

The centre’s website is now offline but one on-line review of the Hippodome said: “This is a great place for kids to go. It is safe and always clean, it is amazing how many kids can fit in here. The play facilities are what make it a fantastic day out for the kids.”

Mr and Mrs McNulty were unavailable for comment.