Worksop play centre weathers the lockdown storm and reopens after a almost a year out of business
When soft play centres reopened it wasn’t just parents breathing a huge sigh of relief.
Play centre owner Graeme Murray, who runs Kids Zone in Worksop. was thrilled to be able to reopen after nearly a year out of business.
Lockdown has been a tough time for play centres across the region and Mr Murray’s business that he has owned for 11 years is no exception.
He said: “This has been so unprecedented and I don’t think any of us saw this coming.
"We were only able to open for a few weeks at the end of August and because of the weather and because people were apprehensive we didn’t have a lot of people coming to us and then we were just getting busier and rocking and rolling in October and then we had to shut again.
"We’ve lost a lot of money as a result and have taken on extra debt but we have had some good support from the government in terms of grants and fortunately we own the building so we haven’t had rent to pay out.
"We have unfortunately lost a lot of staff who had to find work elsewhere which is understandable.”
After riding the storm of lockdown Mr Murray was hugely relieved when he was finally able to reopen the business.
He said: “Play centres should be noisy, buzzing environments and to come in over lockdown and see the place with no one in it was quite eerie so to be able to see children running round and laughing and smiling is amazing.
"Some children who have visited since we open have never even been in a play area before because they were too young before lockdown so it has been really nice to see things getting back to normal.”
The venue in Albion Close has had to make a few changes including removing some of the table space to comply with social distancing, having pre-booked sessions and allowing for cleaning time in between sessions.
The venue is also currently unable to host parties but is hoping the guidelines will allow them to take place soon.
Mr Murray added: “Customers have been very understanding and everyone is a lot more patient and just very appreciative that we are open.
"We are very pragmatic about it all and just very grateful to be back open doing what we do and making it a nice fun, clean and safe environment for families to enjoy.
"We are just rolling with the punches and hoping things continue to get back to normal.”
To find out more and pre-book your session visit www.kidzoneplay.co.uk/