Wolves footballer Dave Edwards has revealed plans to open a soft play centre for youngsters in Shrewsbury – creating ten new jobs.
The 29-year-old Wales international midfielder has applied to Shropshire Council to convert a unit at Monkmoor’s Maverick Business Park into a play barn, which would be called Little Rascals.
He has made the planning application to change the use of the 5,000 sq ft former bathroom showroom, with Ben Wootton, a lifelong friend, who would also be the co-owner.
If they get the go ahead from planners, they plan to open the soft play centre, which will be aimed at babies and children up to the age of 10, in October. About 10 jobs would be created.
Mr Edwards, a father of two and former Shrewsbury Town player, said: “We think Shrewsbury is crying out for something like this. Both Ben and I have young children, and we travel to Oswestry and Telford for children’s birthday parties and days out at play barns at the moment.
“Alongside the play structure, we would have a sensory room which would be great for very young babies and would also help children with special needs, children with autism.
“There would also be a football pitch within the play barn for small-sided games, so there would be a sporty and healthy theme.
“We’ve done plenty of research and we are getting as much information as we can about every single aspect. We’ve also visited lots of play barns to pick up ideas.
He added: “It really fits in with where I am in my life at the moment with having young children. This will give children something to do and prevent them from being bored.
“It’s going to be affordable, it’s not going to be an expensive day out. We’ll keep admission prices low. We also plan to have a good quality café using locally sourced produce, to cater for both adults and children.”
Mr Wootton, also a father of two, said: “We’re designing the play barn itself at the moment. We’re working with designers from a company called House of Play who are helping us put it all together. We are also getting quotes from local builders as we would need to make some alterations.
“We would hope to open in time for October half term. Hopefully people will like what we’re planning to do and we think they will.”
Picture: Ben Wootton, left, and Wolves footballer Dave Edwards, who have revealed plans to open a soft play centre for youngsters in Shrewsbury.