Funky Monkeys Playcentres Ltd, run by Newry husband and wife Mark and Alison Simpson, is intending to expand its successful franchise model into Ireland and Great Britain, with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company currently has eight franchises operating in Northern Ireland in Lurgan, Downpatrick, Newtownabbey, Larne, Dungannon, Cityside and Kennedy Centre Belfast as well at the latest addition to the group at Junction One International Shopping Outlet, Antrim, which opened in June.

Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, said: “Funky Monkey Playcentres is already operating successfully in Northern Ireland and now, having acquired the European trademark for the business as well as the licence for Ireland, has a great opportunity to significantly grow its franchise base.

“With Invest NI support it is aiming to market the brand across the UK and Ireland with the aim of selling 40 franchise licences over the next three years.”

Mark and Alison Simpson have a vast amount of experience in owning and developing a franchise having previously run a successful coffee franchise.

Mr Simpson said: “Having sold six Funky Monkey franchises in Northern Ireland in two years, we believe that our franchise model is now ready to be replicated across a network throughout Great Britain and Ireland.”