New video game arcade to open in Northampton with Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Mario Kart

A planning application has been submitted to the Guildhall to seek permission to turn a former photography studio into a video game arcade.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:00 am
Future Timeless Arcade boss Craig Govier pictured outside what could be his new unit.

Events planner, Craig Govier, of Corby, is the man behind the idea, Timeless Arcade.

When Craig was a child growing up in the 1980s he would often visit his family who lived on the Isle of Wight.

It was there where his love started to grow for seaside arcades and video games.

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Timeless Arcade will be based in The Ridings Arcade, off St Giles Street, in the former Venture Photography unit.

After buying a retro arcade cab ten years ago Craig had to quickly learn how to repair it when it would fail. Since learning how to do repair works he decided to buy other machines to do up, and his collection grew from there.

Craig's idea for his new business, which will be based in the former Venture Photography studio in The Ridings Arcade, will feature both retro and modern games including Mario Kart, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Street Fighter and Killer Instinct.

Adult gamers will be charged a £10 entry fee to have access to all the games, instead of paying per use, and children aged between 5 and 15 years old will be charged £5 entry.

He said: "I invited friends round to have a go on the arcade machines at my house and I thought 'there was still demand for people wanting to play on these types of games'.

"In the past couple of years, a few video gaming arcades have popped up in the UK. Back in the day, you would put your coins into the machine and only play one game but with Timeless Arcade you can pay a flat fee and stay inside for two or three hours and play on everything.

"Timeless Arcade, when it opens, will have a mix of old and new games, which is important. There will be headsets for those into VR and Esport tournaments - which are quite expensive to buy.

"People my age have a lot of fond memories of gaming when they were younger and now they can play here with their children. It will be a place where you can have fun, socialise with friends or family, have a drink, a bite to eat and play games."

Timeless Arcade, if it gets the green light from the planning committee, will also have pinball machines and hopes to offer snacks, drinks and hot beverages to those playing.

Craig, whose favourite game is Q*bert, said Northampton was the perfect place to set up his first gaming business and he hopes to have the unit ready by April.

He added: "I have been looking at places in Corby and Kettering but this place in Northampton just seemed right because it's central and there is the added bonus that students from the university, which has just moved, will use Timeless Arcade."

Other features in the video game arcade will include a Play Station 4 table - which can be linked up for players to compete in tournaments - as well as other retro games including Donkey Kong Jr, Popeye and Asteroids.

Timeless Arcade, which will feature no gambling machines, will be open from Thursday to Sunday (subject to planning conditions) and can be hired out privately for the rest of the week.