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Cottam play centre hit with uncertainty as lockdown keeps doors closed

Posted on - 19th July, 2020 - 4:30pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Cottam, Kid's stuff, Preston News
The Kinder Hub is a soft play area in Cottam
The Kinder Hub is considering options as it awaits government guidance Pic: The Kinder Hub

The Kinder Hub play area is considering its options after Covid-19 guidelines have forced it to stay closed.

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The play, learning and development centre situated in Cottam is unable to open with other parts of the leisure industry on 1 August. Instead the centre is awaiting government updates as it considers options for the future.

Carl Charnley, 34, is one of the company directors for The Kinder Hub. He said: “People are under the impression we can open, especially with trampoline parks and climbing walls opening at the end of the month, but we are still required by law to remain closed with no date given to reopen at present.

“Other similar businesses can reopen from the end of this month – trampoline parks and climbing walls that children play on and with additional cleaning practices in place so why can’t we do the same?”

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The Hub has considered opening its doors with only equipment that is safe to be used. However, with social distancing as well as a reduced size, Carl says he doesn’t think it would be financially feasible.

Soft play area in Kinder Hub, Cottam
The Cottam play centre says it could safely open, but needs to wait for government guidance Pic: Kinder Hub

“Unfortunately because of the size of the cafe, if we had to run on greatly reduced capacity combined with just having the outdoors for children to play – which is so massively weather dependent – we would struggle to even cover costs, possibly even run at a loss.

“If we opened on a day when the weather was poor, we know people booked on wouldn’t turn up so we would be left with staff costs and wasted stock.

“It’s been on the news that restaurants are struggling with the level of no shows they’re getting. We can’t afford to do this, it’s too risky.”

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The play centre already operates on a booking service and restricts numbers, meaning it would be able to open while complying with guidelines given to other areas of the leisure industry.

On social media, customers have praised the cleaning regimes in place at The Kinder Hub, with many believing the cleaning schedules in place before lockdown would be enough to allow the Hub to operate safely.

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The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions has started a petition to rescue the indoor play industry which has seen over 20,000 signatures.

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What do you think of The Kinder Hub not being able to open? Let us know in the comments.

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