We have some very good news to bring you today from the TBPA, as the Government have announced the 1st August date when bowling centres will be allowed to re-open in the UK.

Lobbying Activity that has been going on behind the scenes

As reported previously, the Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association (TBPA) engaged Interel on Monday afternoon to run a lobbying campaign on behalf of our industry.

The first objective was to seek approval of the covid-safe operating guidance.

A meeting was arranged by interel with Emily Mansell and James Wurr of the DCMS taskforce at 4pm yesterday and our message was put across by Phillip Millward (TBPA Chairman & Namco), Steve Burns (CEO HWB), Duncan Garrood (CEO Tenpin), Mat Hart (Director HWB) and Gary Brimble (TBPA General Secretary).

It was confirmed at the meeting that the TBPA guidelines have been approved and subject to a few lines relating to levels of ventilation, will be forwarded for inclusion in the UK Hospitality Covid Guidance.

There are no other barriers stopping the re-opening other than approval by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office.

This is a big step forward and Interel achieved a meeting with DCMS in 48 hours after months of letters from the TBPA side had failed to breakthrough.

Our next step is to keep the flow of letters to MPs’ and build up the pressure on NO. 10 to allow us to re-open.

Interel have sent out letters to over 300 MPs who have a bowling centre in their constituency and the TBPA will be following these up with phone calls to their offices.

A number of MPs have already agreed to meet and discuss our case and to understand a little more about why there is no reason for our sector to remain closed.

We plan to build a body of support in parliament quickly and raise questions in the House and put pressure on the government to re-open bowling centres.

What our BTBA members have done.

Many BTBA members have sent letters to their MP’s and some have followed up with another letter or call mentioning the fact that guidance has been approved and we are as safe as other sectors that are already open.

It was also stressed that the fact that the bowling centres have been closed for more than three months, substantial redundancies will be forthcoming in August as the furlough scheme runs down and given the process involved, centres would need to start preparing for opening next week.

Many thanks for your continued support in these difficult times.

Martin Webster
Director of Business Development
British Tenpin Bowling Association