It might have been a cold and dark night in Preston but the bright lights and buzzing atmosphere inside Preston’s state of the art entertainment complex was enough to make even Jack Frost want to warm to the occasion.
The new complex, called Level, resides in Preston’s Guild Hall and is the brainchild of Guild Hall owner Simon Rigby and his company, the Villa Group, which has transformed the rear of the building since being purchased by them for £1 in 2014.
At Wednesday’s VIP preview of Level, Post reporters were treated to the ground floor of the complex, called Level 2, which opens to the public on tomorrow.
Speaking to the Post, Guild Hall owner Simon Rigby said: “We’re very excited and ready for the opening now.
“We’ve had great reaction from those here during the test week with the equipment holding up really well.
“We’re now really looking forward to having a fantastic Christmas.”
It really is a fantastic attraction for the whole of Preston and beyond.
The immediate reaction when stepping inside is one of awe, whether that’s because of the slick bowling lanes, the illuminated darts room, the relaxed bar area or the chilled restaurant – or maybe all of them put together.
The darts room itself, called Pointers & Co Darts, has already seen the biggest name in darts, Michael van Gerwen, stop by in the week.
For Simon, a Christmas opening was vital.
The entrepreneur said: “We saw Christmas and the December break, with all the parties that come with that, as being crucial to launching Level to the public.
“People visiting the Guild Hall now can make a day out of it. Rather than just seeing a show and then going home, they can arrive earlier, play some bowling, have a go at crazy golf, or whatever it is they want to do.
“It really is a fantastic attraction for the whole of Preston and beyond. We’re very proud of what we have put together for the city.”
Head of operations for the Guild Group, Richard Simkin, said: “We’ve invested £5m into the whole project and are now hopeful that everyone will buy into the investment, which I’m sure they will. It’s more like something you would find in Manchester, Liverpool, or London.
“There’s a bit of something for everyone.”
The restaurant on Level 2 is Mundos Street Kitchen, the re-branded take on Mundos Tapas, the Guild Hall’s flagship restaurant which has moved to be a part of the Hall’s exciting future.
As part of the restaurant, 27-year-old Ribbleton artist Shaun Sharpe was brought on board to spray paint an extremely impressive montage of sports stars – which includes Sir Tom Finney – which seamlessly merges into a more restaurant fitting mural as it progresses into the eating area.
The former University of Central Lancashire student said: “This is going to help a hell of a lot for Preston.
“My aim is to have a lot more murals in the city centre and through this job alone I can definitely see that happening.”
This reporter stood up to the mark and tested the impressive bowling facilities. There are a total of eight lanes of which two can be hired out for VIP games. One fun little feature includes scanning your face into your ally’s touchscreen computer, which then mirrors your face in a range of overhead visuals depending on what score you get. Naturally, the images for strikes were flowing in the Post’s lane.
Sneak previews of Level 1, which will be home to crazy golf (and was put to this reporter as a combination of ‘sci fi meets butter pie’), and Level 3, the location of a Ninja Warrior-inspired assault course and climbing wall, were given but details remain under wraps. An official opening in the next two weeks is on the cards.