It’s all work AND all play for former teacher Dr Sipra Deb.
Dr Deb has transformed an old warehouse on Little London Road into one of the UK’s largest indoor play centres, with backing from NatWest’s business banking team.
Her 18,000 sq ft Play Arena provides play and party entertainment for children and teenagers up to 16.
Attractions include a large soft play area, driving track, ‘ball cannon,’ moving crocodile slide, zip wire aerial runway and an interactive area for toddlers. The Play Arena also has a full time chef serving nutritious, healthy food, an outdoor eating area and parking for 100 cars.
The project is the culmination of two years research and planning by Dr Deb.
She visited play centres across the UK and Europe to see what features would attract children and their parents before investing £400,000 in the project.
NatWest has provided a £70,000 loan through the government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.
Dr Sipra Deb, owner of The Play Arena, said: “It has taken a huge amount of time and effort to reach this position and we are delighted to welcome our first visitors.
“The Play Arena aims to create a friendly, fun filled environment where children can play and exercise safely. The facility has been designed to provide mental and physical stimulation for children through uninhibited play. We chose this location because the area lacked a facility of this kind that can bring children and parents together.”
Faith Douglas, relationship manager at NatWest, said: “Dr Deb undertook a significant amount of research and presented us with a very thorough and comprehensive business plan.
“She has a clear vision for the future of the business and we are happy to help support her plans.”