Welsh Arcade Island Leisure  welcomes royalty

Last week, Island Leisure in Barry Island, South Wales welcomed two very special guests – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who visited to support tourism in the area and who stayed to play several games and chat with the owners and staff.

The iconic arcade originally gained fame through the hit TV show Gavin and Stacey, as the venue where Nessa, played by Ruth Jones, worked the slots. Now, Island Leisure is once more in the spotlight with Will and Kate making a secret trip to the traditional promenade amusement arcade.

There, the royal couple played on several of the arcade games (thanks to some helpful tips from the owners’ grandchildren) and talked to local business owners about how COVID-19 has affected tourism. The visit was part of a wider trip to South Wales on Wednesday, which marked the first day Island Leisure amusement arcade has opened its doors since lockdown, along with many other Welsh businesses.

Andrew Phillips, who is the fourth generation of his family to run Island Leisure, told the Daily Mail, “How important it is to be back open both for us as a business but [also] for people to come and have a fun holiday.”

John White, CEO of bacta, the association for owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades and the manufacturers who supply to them, said: “This visit to an amusement arcade by such high-profile members of the Royal Family has given the whole industry an incredible boost at a difficult time. To see the smiles on the faces of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brings home to everyone that we are in the business of providing fun.”

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