FROM Pac Man and Space Invaders to Call of Duty and MineCraft, there promises to be something for everyone at The Gaming Suite.

The Rainford business opened just 12 months ago proving popular with youngsters looking to immerse themselves in the high tech world.

But the company has been a surprise hit with local schools, who use the prospect of spending time online playing computer games as a motivation and reward programme for pupils.

This week, our Trader of the Week feature hears from The Gaming Suite’s owner Neil Smith as he tells us how people of all ages have been enjoying entering the virtual world and why the repair side of the business was inundated with jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Gaming Suite The Gaming Suite owner Neil Smith

The Gaming Suite The Gaming Suite owner Neil Smith

What’s the address?

Rainford Village Hall

Church Rd


WA11 8HB

When did you open the business?

September 2021

Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?

I’m originally from Stockport but I have lived in Billinge since 1995.

Tell me a bit about your business

The Gaming Suite is operated by mobile device and computer repair company, Tech Guys 360 Ltd. With autumn here and a slight chill in the air, people are starting to think more about indoor activities and entertainment. The Gaming Suite enables individuals, school groups and parties to fully immerse themselves in the latest games played on high spec hardware. The first of its kind in the area, The Gaming Suite is a place for all ages to join in the fun, meet friends and play computer games together or individually.

What do you do? What services do you provide?

The main room is equipped with the latest high-end PCs and ergonomically designed gaming chairs. There is a wide range of the latest video games, from Fortnite and Call of Duty to MineCraft and Rocket League. In addition, there are three driving simulators with 180-degree screens enabling anyone to safely put their foot to the floor. The second room features the latest gaming consoles with controllers and wireless headsets allowing gaming for up to six people at a time. There are also retro gaming options for lovers of Pac Man, Space Invaders and nostalgic games from the 1970s and 1980s. Ultra-fast broadband speeds and ambient LED lighting creates a perfect environment for virtual fun.

The Gaming Suite is fully equipped with consoles and gaming chairs to make users feel relaxed

The Gaming Suite is fully equipped with consoles and gaming chairs to make users feel relaxed

Why did you decide to open your own business?

I worked for myself many years ago, then spent a long time in a large organisation, but always had an ambition to set up and run a successful business of my own.

What’s your business background?

After various jobs when younger, including running a bar on the holiday island of Rhodes, I had a long career working in IT for the energy company Shell.

Why this type of business?

I’d always had a passion for fixing things so after being made redundant by Shell I decided to set up a repair business. I then saw an opportunity in the gaming industry which would build on my IT experience.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business?

Tech Guys 360 was open throughout Covid-19 and helped people who couldn’t go to their place of work as well as families who were spending time at home.

What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

The Gaming Suite is a unique facility in the area and I anticipated most demand would come from the general public, through individual gamers and bookings for parties and get togethers. However, it is the education sector which has most embraced The Gaming Suite proposition. Schools from Leyland and Skelmersdale have joined local schools in St Helens to utilise the facilities as part of motivation and reward programs for their pupils. SEN schools in particular have really appreciated the potential for recognising progress and good behaviour. The Gaming Suite is a safe and secure environment which eliminates pupils’ risk from virtual exposure.

The Gaming Suites high tech gaming experience

The Gaming Suite's high tech gaming experience

Why do loyal customers return to your business?

The Gaming Suite provides an ultimate gaming experience which it is difficult to replicate in the home. As well as individual play, exclusive group bookings are becoming increasingly popular for birthday parties and other special events. The PCs are controlled by the best available gaming centre software which prevents misuse and controls age restricted content. The Gaming Suite can offer amazing parties for up to 19 players with catering provided.

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?

New ground is about to be broken through wedding bookings in conjunction with Rainford Parish Council. While adults chat, mingle and enjoy the Village Hall’s comfortable surroundings, the Gaming Suite can take care of younger guests with one of our video gaming experiences. Another growing area of demand is in the corporate events sector where businesses are looking for indoor options. The Gaming Suite is committed to providing an inclusive gaming environment where everyone can have fun while feeling safe and respected. In the future I’d like to look at opening another gaming suite in conjunction with a food and drink venue.

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