A new concept in family entertainment launching in Glasgow city centre this week looks set to transform kids and adults’ leisure time, as well as the face of UK city centres.
The UK’s first Level X, inside a vast 30,000sq ft former retail space in the city’s St Enoch Centre, features a range of futuristic, immersive attractions that have been sourced from around the globe.
Level X features Disney style ‘load and play’ RFID wristband technology that will allow customers unlimited access on entry to all the gaming features within Level X as well as the ability to tap and pay for food and drinks.
Glasgow’s Level X, which sits in the space vacated by Hamleys Toys in St Enoch Centre features a range of family friendly gaming and attraction ‘zones’, including:
Alt Verse: A virtual reality zone that allows customers to experience a wide range of games and roaming multi-player games through VR headsets, as well as a number of single player VR pods.
Level up: An eclectic collection of the newest and most nostalgic arcade sensations from around the globe, including giant Hungry Hippos.
Big Putts: An indoor mini golf course with technology in the ball that keeps score for you, displayed on screens around the course.
Gutterball: tenpin bowling, but not in an environment you’d know, where graffiti art, bespoke bowling balls and custom Gutterball ‘socks’ are the norm.
Founder Tim Wilks says he already has plans to open at least four more Level X venues across the UK in the next 18 months, with a 65,000sq ft site in the centre of Middlesbrough looking likely to open before the end of the year. That will feature a different range of family-focused attractions, including a revolutionary new indoor go-karting concept, but will still have the same attention on bringing the very best and newest gaming experiences under one roof.
Wilks explained that there will be 11 different attractions featuring across Level X sites, all running under their own unique brand identities, with the Level X brand driving a cohesive ‘master brand’ approach for the venues.
Wilks, who changed the face of grown-up leisure time with the launch of his first Lane7 boutique bowling alley nine years ago, says a post-covid world of immersive and futuristic, family-focused entertainment is long overdue.
He explained: “We’ve scoured the world to unearth the most exciting tech-led experiences and updated nostalgic favourites to bring them together under one roof with Level X. We’re enormously excited to open in Glasgow. We see this as just the start for a brand that will become synonymous with a new approach to family entertainment centres in the UK.
“There is enormously exciting things happening within the world of gaming, AI and VR and bringing these together in a venue that’s totally committed to everyone having a brilliant time together – children and adults alike – is what we’re all about.
“The need to reimagine family entertainment as well as what our future city centres will look like is upon us. Immersive, tech-led gaming and entertainment on this scale is something that I predict will become commonplace in the necessary reinvention of our city centres up and down the UK.”
Level X is actively on the hunt for more suitable city centre venues, but admit spaces vacated by big retail is just one of many routes being explored. Wilks has also admitted plans are already in place to look at franchising the model to put Level X on a wider international platform.
Wilks and his team reimagined tenpin bowling with the introduction of Lane7, also adding mini golf, karaoke booths, darts, pool, shuffleboard and a range of other group-friendly pastimes with high quality drinks and food offerings. Ranked within The Times’ Top 100 Fastest Growing Independent Businesses, Lane7 now has 11 operations across the UK with plans to open a further six in the next 18 months.