Gala targets growth following record sales

Rotherham-based Gala Tent's Play Centre equipment
Rotherham-based Gala Tent's Play Centre equipment
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Gala Tent has expanded into the children’s play equipment business.

The Dearne Valley company, launched 14 years ago by managing director Jason Mace, is now the UK’s largest designer and manufacturer of tents, marquees and gazebos, boasting an annual turnover of £7 million.

Its new Gala Play Centres business aims to supply high quality play equipment, made from sustainable yellow pear wood, to commercial organisations like nurseries, pubs and restaurants and the domestic market.

“We are very excited about the launch of the Gala Play Centres,” said Mr Mace, who founded the Gala business with an investment of £2,000.

“We have interest from families and venues such as pubs and leisure parks, who are looking for high quality activity centres, with a strong focus on safety.”

Gala has created six different designs of all-weather play centres, each of which can be erected by two or three people.

The launch of Gala Play Centres comes after Gala recorded a 10 per cent increase in sales of tents, marquees and gazebos in the last quarter year-on-year.

Gala says people are spending more time at home because of the recession and have a greater tendency to socialise there.

With research showing that four out of five people see the garden as somewhere to relax and entertain friends and family,

Gala says the trend is for homeowners to “create more expensive out-of-home experiences at home.”

Mr Mace said: “There is a definite trend towards entertaining at home.

“The current economic climate means that people are recognising that they can make significant savings on hiring a venue by hosting an event on their patio or garden area.

“This is proving to be the case for a whole range of events from weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and christenings.”

The over 65s are leading the way – not least because 88 per cent of them have a garden – followed by the 35-44 age group, where 78 per cent have a garden.