Project:  Washington Millenium Centre

Client:  Karen Quigley

Total Cost:  £120000 (Ex. Vat)

Building Size:  1000012000 sq. ft

Age Range:  0 – 12

Soft play installation in a sports hall

Washington Millenium Centre is situated in the Northeast of the UK and was a publicly funded community centre. In recent years, it was handed over to a local charitable foundation to continue to run and develop for the benefit of the local residents. The centre incorporates various public facilities including a library, indoor and outdoor sports pitches, catering provision, IT services and much more.

In one part of the centre, was a large sports hall which had previously been used for sporting activities, as well as hosting regular soft play mornings, utilising ‘pop-up’ bouncy castles and a small demountable soft play area.

The take up for sports hall services was dwindling, but the call for the soft play mornings was increasing. The foundation directorship, which included the centre manager Karen, took the decision to greatly expand the soft play offering, by handing over the entire sports hall to be used as a permanent soft play facility. It was hoped that this would increase the revenue generated by the space, which directly feeds into the other services provided within the space.

The board appointed Karen to begin investigating UK manufacturers of soft play equipment and she quickly came across Play Creations. Impressed with the quality of our product and the sample designs received from Play Creations, Karen asked to see what could be done within their sports hall in terms of adding a soft play frame. Play Creations responded with some outline proposals and costs to fit out their sports hall with a new soft play frame. Following a site survey to define the spaces available and to further refine the brief, Play Creations went away to finalise 3D designs for the soft play equipment.

Soft play design and manufacture in the UK

Sports halls are great to design play frames into, as they are usually very big and very high. This greatly expands the options available to us, to create a soft play design with true WOW factor. Not only that, a client who knows what they want but allows us enough creative freedom, to bring something to the table they might not have expected. A dream project!

Millie’s Magical Garden was the working title and this informed much of our design direction. Magic mushrooms and tree houses were the order of the day! The design is split across 4 levels, with 3 major ‘blocks’ of equipment arranged to mimic suspended tree houses, that are linked with high level crossing features, such as crawl tubes and expansive V Net bridges. Across the ‘blocks’, contained within are a wide range of exciting and innovative soft play features, including a 4 lane wavy slide, spiral slide, kart track area, sports area, giant rotating pin-wheel and sensory air features, alongside all our other high quality and fun soft play features. Also included in the design was a dedicated toddler area for 2-5yrs and a dedicated baby area for 0-2yrs.

Themed around the ‘Millie’s Magical Garden’ brand, Play Creations created a host of bespoke artwork, including painted steel tree outlines, tree house artwork and applique features to enhance the visual appeal and to link directly with their chosen brand identity.

One final note

The play frame was completed and opened to a quite literal rapturous response from the local community. Karen and the board were highly delighted with the results of Play Creation’s efforts and the subsequent response from the local community.

Attendance numbers (and corresponding revenue) far exceeded those projected by the board and within 18 months, the board and Karen were back in touch with us, to add a top level extension and more features to the existing levels. We duly submitted designs and quotes and the extension was signed off and installed to the same exacting standards as we had done previously.

There is talk of one final extension!