Bowling alley and play venue plans for Belfast's Boucher Road

An artist's impression of what the new bowling alley in the Boucher Road area could look like.
An artist's impression of what the new bowling alley in the Boucher Road area could look like. An artist's impression of what the new bowling alley in the Boucher Road area could look like.

A former office unit off Belfast's Boucher Road is to be converted into a bowling alley and indoor amusement complex, creating 50 new jobs.

Adelaide House on Apollo Road, close to Balmoral Plaza where M&S, Home Bargains and Pets at Home are located, is at the heart of a new £2 million planning proposal by firm MK5 Limited, which has an address on Culmore Road, Derry.

It has proposed a change of use for the site — from office space to a mixed use leisure building.

Within the building proposals is a 16-lane bowling alley operating under the name Apollo Bowling, licensed restaurant/cafe, indoor golf area, children’s soft play, virtual reality zone and amusements.

The site will be owned by developer MK5 but operated by a Dublin firm, a spokesperson said.

They added: "This is an exciting project that, if approved, will offer great entertainment for the entire family whilst bringing significant economic and employment opportunities along with huge social and community benefits to the area for all."

A pre-application notice for the project was submitted to Belfast City Council in July, with a full application filed this week.

An outside smoking area and parking and drop off taxi spots, will also feature at the site.

Prior to this application, plans were filed in 2019 to convert the same building into an 87-room hotel with six serviced apartments and 14 business studios as well as 10 live/work studios.

That application was recommended for refusal at a council planning committee meeting in August 2020 and the application was withdrawn that same month.

A public meeting will take place on August 17 from noon until 9pm at Adelaide Business Centre, Apollo Road, Belfast.

The company behind the scheme is calling on the public to submit ideas for other uses for parts of the site on a new website

It read: “We invite you to view all our architectural plans and designs below, and also call for your feedback on what we are proposing and welcome any new ideas which we can take on board and perhaps include or accommodate within our final project.”

Floor plans show a a virtual reality zone/amusement area to the left side of the building upon entering. On the right, the company has earmarked a space for a soft play area.

To the rear of the building a 16-lane bowling alley features and a ‘bar and food servery’ with seating on ground and raised floor levels.

The planning application follows on from the recent opening of the new £2m Hollywood Bowl complex at the Odyssey Pavillion.

It replaced the former bowling and amusement venue already located there as part of a wider redevelopment scheme.