AN INDEPENDENT bowling company has confirmed plans to launch three new sites in the coming months.

Lane7, which is headquartered in Darlington, says it will open a new flagship site in Leicester, with openings in Manchester and Bristol to follow.

The bowling company opened its first site in Newcastle in 2013 and now has late night bowling and gaming venues across England and Scotland.

Its growth plans come at a time when the leisure and hospitality industries are suffering due to the Government’s Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.

The enforced six month closure of all six of its late night bowling and gaming sites between March and August put a temporary freeze on the group’s long term growth plans.

However, Lane7 founder and owner Tim Wilks is keen to maintain a positive mindset despite the fresh 10pm curfew measures.

He said: "As an industry, we’ve experienced the toughest and most painful period imaginable.

"We’ve been dealt the toughest hand possible in trying to maintain commitment to these sites during a period without trade on existing sites, so we’re excited to be in a position to now press on.

“Watching other leisure facilities open while bowling alleys had to remain closed was tough to stomach. Whilst we know trading conditions will remain challenging, we’re keen to get on the front foot and extend the Lane7 experience to big cities across the UK.

"We have to stay cautious and understand there may be more tough times ahead, but we’re really excited to be oiling the lanes again."