Former Sunderland stars got a scoop of the action as a new ice cream parlour opened at an activity centre.
Ex Black Cats Gary Bennett, Bobby Kerr, Jimmy Shoulder and Jimmy Montgomery paid a visit to Durham’s newly launched Lickety Split at Infinite Air Extreme Trampoline Centre and also to enjoy some classic tunes on the parlour’s Wurlitzer Jukebox.
Over their sundaes, the quartet discussed the Sunderland AFC Former Players Association’s fundraising plans with the new owner of the multi-activity park, Austin Carney.
Soccarena, Infinite Air Extreme Trampoline Centre and New Ferens Park Stadium (home of Durham Women FC) are based on Belmont industrial Estate, on the outskirts of Durham.
The businesses are part of a multi-activity park which is set on a six-acre site and includes an 80,000 sq. ft. indoor arena.
New managing director Mr Carney plans to bring the businesses together under the name of ‘Infinite Durham’.
Money secured as part of a £2million funding package for the development has been used for the launch of the parlour, a daytime tots activity area, a food court and upgrading the facilities of Infinite Durham.
With the help from advisors Mckenzie Bell, RSM and Lloyds Bank, the renovation and expansion of Infinite Durham will create 20 new jobs adding to the 40-strong team of Infinite Air crew, football coaches, café employees and customer service staff.
Plans are also in place for a further £400,000 investment over the next 12 months to upgrade the facilities.
Mr Carney said: “Our vision is to build one of the biggest leisure destinations in the North of England - providing first class facilities for families to spend the entire day with us.
“The Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlour is a key component of the developments and it was great to have the lads along to support us as long-standing friends.
“The business used to house three separate entities, so the deal itself wasn’t simple but, with the support from the bank, I was able to effectively acquire the entire site.
“The team at the bank fully understood what we were trying to achieve, and I look forward to continuing our relationship over the coming months as we look to expand and grow.”
John Curtis, relationship director for Lloyds Bank in the North East, said: “The expansion of Infinite Durham is a great example of a successful acquisition that will build upon an established brand.
“It will also provide a much-welcomed boost to employment in the Durham area with plans to create 20 new jobs in the coming months.
“We are committed to helping Britain prosper by providing guidance and support for small to medium sized businesses, like Infinite Durham, which is why, since the beginning of 2011, we have grown our net lending to SMEs by 31%.”