Firm eyes up Portsmouth for its next  inflatable park featuring ball pits, bouncy castles and giant slides 

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THE founders of the UK’s first inflatable theme parks have targeted 10 new site openings for 2019 as part of ambitious expansion plans – and they say it could be coming to Portsmouth. 

Inflata Nation run indoor inflatable arenas, filled with gigantic ball pools, tall slides, climbing walls and obstacle courses. 

Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan at the launch of the new Inflata Nation Glasgow with her daughter Matilda'Picture by Matthew Pover/Marco Richard PR

Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan at the launch of the new Inflata Nation Glasgow with her daughter Matilda'Picture by Matthew Pover/Marco Richard PR

Founders Michelle and Matt Ball opened their first park in Manchester’s Trafford Park in October 2017. 

Other centres soon followed in Cheshire, Glasgow and Beverley, as well as their first franchise operation in Birmingham. 

And now Michelle and Matt say they’ve set their sights on 10 new launches in the coming 12 months, including their first in international territory. 

They also confirmed to The News that Hampshire is definitely ‘on their radar’. 

Inflata Nation founders Michelle and Matt Ball

Inflata Nation founders Michelle and Matt Ball

Michelle, headquartered in Southport, Merseyside, said: ‘Our first franchise site opened in Birmingham earlier this year - and three more franchise locations are already in development, with several others in the early stages.

‘We think 10 new locations for 2019 is a very realistic prospect as the market continues to expand - which is great news for anyone who’s been waiting for Inflata Nation to arrive at a venue near them, as we’re hoping to spread across the UK. 

‘And we’re also busy formalising what will be our first international franchise, with plans to expand into further international markets next year.

‘The precise details of that venture is strictly under wraps for the moment, but it’s extremely exciting for Matt and I.

‘Watch this space!’ 

Inflata Nation Birmingham – the biggest of its kind in the UK – opened with an exclusive VIP event in August.

Pop singer and Loose Women star Jamelia was among the first to try out the inflatable slides, assault course and Gladiator-style duel.

That was soon joined by another new arena in Glasgow, Beverley, near Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which is the first double-decker inflatable theme park in the UK and boasts the nation’s largest ball pool - with more than 200,000 plastic spheres.

These boosted the existing stable of the original Inflata Nation in Manchester, close to the Trafford Centre, and a second complex in Runcorn, Cheshire.

When the Manchester site first opened, it welcomed 100,000 ‘bouncers’ within the first four months of business, while all four businesses have created around 160 jobs.

If the rate of expansion is realised, Inflata Nation projects a turnover of more than £16m by the end of 2020.

Matt said: ‘Our model has proved successful so far and we are aiming to roll it out even further over the next 12 months.

‘We believe that Inflata Nation offers not only a unique experience for our customers but is also perfectly suited to an ambitious expansion strategy and is an attractive franchise opportunity.’ 

Inflata Nation is currently in discussions over a handful of other ‘interesting’ sites that will offer new attractions.

As well as the standard bouncy attractions, Inflata Nation also hosts fitness classes, disability-friendly and adults-only sessions, and also has specially designed zones for under-fours. Food and drink is available on site.

For more information visit inflatanation.com