A HUGE inflatable theme park is set to open up only a short hop down the Daresbury Expressway.

Cheshire Inflata Nation – a giant indoor bouncy play space featuring slides, assault courses and ball pools for both children and adults – will open in Runcorn early next year.

Jump Nation trampoline centre on Shaw Street in the town is set to undergo a major refurbishment costing around £500,000.

Boasting a Gladiators-style jousting arena, a giant drop slide and a climbing wall, the facility will become only the second of its kind in the UK.

The first opened in Manchester in October, drawing customers from across the north west.

Director Michelle Ball said: “We wanted to use the Manchester site as a testing ground to see how popular the Inflata Nation concept would be, and after an overwhelming response from customers further down the M62 we’re now looking to convert Runcorn’s Jump Nation into an Inflata Nation too.

“The Runcorn centre is actually larger in size than our Manchester location so we should be able to really utilise the extra space.

“We’ll also be looking to replicate everything on offer in Manchester, including the climbing wall, the Inflata Drop giant slide and the Gladiators-style jousting arena.

“Watch this space for further details.

“When we first launched Inflata Nation we obviously hoped it would prove popular but we certainly didn’t play for it.

“Thankfully, since we opened we’ve been super busy and if we’re being honest the level of interest has been surprising even to us.

“We’re just glad people seem to like it.”

Around 30,000 people visited the Trafford Park site in its first month in operation.

Co-owner Matt Ball added: “While trampoline parks are becoming more and more common, we think Inflata Nation is a pretty unique concept.

“There’s certainly nothing else quite like it in the world so far.”