A MUM claims she was horrified to spot a rat running across the floor of a children's play centre.

Amy Sinkinson and Leighton Hargreaves had taken their three-year-old son Leo to Funtazia Soft Play in Blackburn when she said she saw the 'big black rat' running near to where he was playing on the slides.

Bosses at the play centre said they investigated the reports and 'emphatically deny they have any rats'.

However, Environmental Health officers confirmed it is working with the play centre and has provided pest control 'treatment' after evidence of mice was found.

The 27-year-old mum said her son loves the Kent Street venue but has vowed she will never return.

Miss Sinkinson, from Accrington, said: "I was sat watching my son playing on the slide when I saw a rat come out of the bottom end of the play centre and run across.

"It was big and black. It was horrible.

"I told my partner and he went and had a look and saw a hole where it could have come from.

"My son was not aware of what happened.

"I just picked him up and went straight to the staff.

"They did not seem shocked. They just looked at me."

The university student, who said she has reported it to Environmental Health bosses, also posted it on Facebook and said other people had reported seeing the same thing.

She said: "I worry that children could be picking up the droppings. Apparently rat urine is very dangerous as well so I'm worried if they are crawling in it.

"It is disgusting and I just want people to be aware.

"My son loves going there and it is such a shame because I feel like I can't take him back now.

"It is a really good centre and I would often spend £30 paying for a taxi and entry because he enjoyed it so much.

"I just wish they would sort it out."

A statement issued by the directors of Funtazia said: "We checked this incident on our CCTV and she was seen speaking to a member of our staff.

"The manager on the day and another member of staff went to investigate the incident and found no trace or sightings of a rat, no other member of the public on that day reported seeing anything at the time and there were another 80 people of all ages in the building between 9.30am and 10.40am."

They said Miss Sinkinson had stayed at the venue for half an hour after she reported it, however Miss Sinkinson said she had been there waiting for a taxi.

The statement continued: "We comply with all the health and safety regulations put in place.

"We welcome the inspections from the Environmental Health department and we are very proud of our five star hygiene certificate and continue to work hard to maintain these standards to the highest level.

"We emphatically deny that we have any rats in Funtazia Soft Play Limited."

It added the building was inspected regularly by a professional pest control company and rats have not been found since they opened in March last year.

A spokeswoman for Blackburn with Darwen Council said: "Environmental health officers visited the premises following reports of mice.

"We are continuing to work with the play centre.

"Treatment including cleaning and disinfection activity has been carried out at the premises after evidence of mice was found.

"However, no actual mice have been found.

"There was also no evidence any food had been contaminated."

Funtazia, which opened last year, describes itself as Lancashire's largest play centre.