A new entertainment centre for children has opened in Luton's town centre after a year of setbacks.
In February last year, Funtura Family Entertainment Centre transformed the vacant unit next to McDonald’s in the town centre into a centre that had arcade games, soft play and a shop. They also planned to have a cafe inside.
But the plans were rejected by Luton Council in June. In notes it said: “The development, as indicated on plan numbers DC01, ATK/18/UK/TP1 and ATK/18/UK/TP2, in further reducing the provision of retail floorspace within the primary shopping frontage and in resulting in more than two non-A1 units being adjacent to one another, would contribute towards the erosion of the primary retail purpose of Luton town centre.”
Owner Zhong Jiang and his wife, Xin Li, have been working to make improvements to the centre and, after getting the approval from the council in December, they finally opened Funtura in June.
Zhong said: “Due to the planning and license department’s requirements we had to delay our opening by a year, and after a long period we are glad to finally open. We got the plans approved by the council in December and have been working to get it all ready for the opening.
“Everything was put in place and we didn’t do any advertising when we first opened. The first month was quiet, but it has got busier, especially since the school holidays.
“The arcade machines are aimed at children, and we have the soft play area and a cafe and a toy shop, where toys can be bought or exchanged for tokens or tickets that can be won from the arcade games.
"Customers buy the tokens with money from the shop, and then they are used in the machines. No money goes into the machines. As a special opening offer, throughout August, we are offering customers an extra 25 tokens when they spend £10 on tokens.”
Funtura will be open Monday to Thursday 10am till 6pm, Friday and Saturday 10am till 7pm and Sunday 11am till 6pm.