Sunderland city centre bowling alley closes after collapse of parent company

MFA Bowl in High Street West
MFA Bowl in High Street West

Sunderland’s city centre bowling alley has closed suddenly after the collapse of its parent company.

Doors at the High Street West venue are locked after MFA Bowl (UK) Limited collapsed earlier this week.

A sign in the window

A sign in the window

Signs have gone up in the windows, saying “This site is now closed for business.

“We would like to thank our customers for all their support and apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause.”

The company has 12 sites nationwide, and administrators are hoping to sell at least part of the business.

Philip Duffy and Allan Graham, of Duff & Phelps, were appointed Joint Administrators of MFA Bowl Limited earlier this month.

Since appointment we have been trading the business as a going concern while in parallel we have marketed it for sale.

Philip Duffy

A statement said: “The company is one of the UK’s leading indoor tenpin bowling centres with 12 sites throughout the UK, many equipped with 18 lanes and automated scoring systems, arcade games including pool tables, and indoor play areas.

“As well as a destination for sports and bowling enthusiasts, the company also caters for corporate events, birthday parties, disco parties, private functions, meetings and much more.”

Philip Duffy said: “Since appointment we have been trading the business as a going concern while in parallel we have marketed it for sale.

“While we have been unable to find a buyer for all 12 sites we are confident we have a buyer for part of the business.

“As a result it has become necessary to mothball a number of sites, which were closed this morning.”

“Those sites now closed include Banbury, Chatham, North Shields, Preston, Southend and Sunderland.

“The following sites continue to trade as normal as the Joint Administrators continue to pursue a sale: Lewisham, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Scunthorpe Weymouth and Worcester.”

This is not the first time the future of the bowling alley has been under threat.

It was saved from closure in November 2011 when its then parent company pulled the plug only for another firm to step at the 11th hour and take it over.