A company called FunBox is gearing up to come to Broad Street Mall in the town centre, and wants to take over shops and turn them into a gaming centre for all the family.
The shops were previously occupied by New Look, which closed in 2018 and served as a coronavirus vaccination centre.
The FunBox plan would see the two shops merged to create space for arcade games, a bowling alley, American pool, interactive darts and virtual reality games, in a venue called ‘Urban Fun Reading’.
The company also wants to sell food, drinks and alcohol to guests.
Consultants Planning Potential said: “The proposed use is a family friendly entertainment centre, which will provide an interactive amusement and games space for all ages.
“The main customer base during the daytime and early evening will be young families, with children’s parties popular at weekends.
“The predominant customer base after 9pm will change to adults (groups of friends, couples and students of Reading University) seeking alternative evening activities to the many drinking establishments within the centre.”
A planning document then states no one under the age of 18 will be allowed in the centre after 9pm unless they are accompanied by an adult.
FunBox is hoping to be open from 10am to midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 11.30pm on Wednesdays and 10am to 11.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday.
The plan would involve work to merge the units and external changes out in Queens Walk with Urban Fun Reading branding.
You can view the application by typing reference 231464 into the council’s planning portal.
Back in September, FunBox applied to provide regulated entertainment such as the prize games it hopes to introduce, sell alcohol and provide food and refreshments.
While it had applied to begin selling alcohol from 10am onwards, a compromise reached with council licensing officers means that the sale of alcohol can only begin from 12pm.
It means alcohol can be sold until midnight from Thursday to Saturday, to 10pm from Sunday to Tuesday and until 11pm on Wednesdays.
The consultants from Planning Potential said: “Whilst the venue will have a small bar servery, this will be ancillary to the games and amusements and is similar to the set up in bowling alleys up and down the country.
“Alcohol will be available from midday, however, during the day the area will function more as a café serving mostly soft drinks and hot beverages.
“Only premium alcoholic drinks and soft drinks will be served.”
Urban Fun Reading would be located nearby The Biscuit Factory independent movie theatre and Spinners, which hosts crazy golf, ten pin bowling and interactive darts.