Jump Up to Help Out? Trampoline park Mister Twisters calls for more help from Government for industry
The owners of a trampoline and soft play business have called for extra government support to help it survive the coronavirus crisis.
Mike and Samantha Taylor, who operate Mister Twisters, say they need financial assistance and clearer guidance as to when they can fully reopen.
The centre, at Follingsby Park on the borough’s border with Gateshead, and the couple estimate 75% of its 20-strong workforce live in South Tyneside.
The high number has led Jarrow MP Kate Osborne to take up their fight by writing to business secretary Alok Sharma, to urge greater backing for such businesses.
The Taylors got partly back into the swing on July 26, when easing of lockdown allowed them to re-launch the trampoline element of their operation.
But they remain banned under government guidelines from having customers in their soft play zone, which generates a significant slice of turnover.
Former airline pilot Mike, 66, from Low Fell, Gateshead, said: “Our customers are asking for soft play, but that is what we are not allowed to give them.
“We have been able to access some financial support, but most of it will need to start being repaid by the end of the year.
“Other businesses are getting the support they need, and we would like the same level of help.
“Pubs are now busy thanks to the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. We could do ‘Jump Up to Help Out, which could increase footfall at our venue.”
Samantha, 45, added: “A high percentage of our employees come from Jarrow, Hebburn and South Shields.
“We need financial support from the government and guidance about when our soft play can reopen.”
Ms Osborne wrote to Mr Sharma in July to ask him to provide a reopening date or to offer financial assistance to prevent the soft play sector from collapsing.
She told him: “I believe that it is only right that the government intervenes and provides financial assistance in the form of grants, not loans, if there is further delay in these businesses being able to reopen.”
Ms Osborne said she had not received a response from Mr Sharma.