It’s an exciting day for Wolves football star Dave Edwards as he kicks off an exciting new venture by opening an indoor soft play centre in Shrewsbury – which already has the seal of approval from his Molineux team mates.
The Welsh international midfielder, who lives just outside Shrewsbury, is launching Little Rascals, aimed at babies and children up to the age of 10, at the Maverick Business Park in Monkmoor.
He successfully made a planning application to change the use of a 5,000 sq ft former bathroom showroom, with Ben Wootton, a lifelong friend, who is the co-owner.
The building has been transformed into a colourful and vibrant hive of activity for youngsters with Little Rascals now ready to open its doors at 10am today (Sunday).
It will be open every day of the week and has created 10 new jobs.
Dave, a father of two, said: “We knew there was a big demand for somewhere like this in the town and we have had such positive feedback, especially through social media channels.
“We’ve had lots of people asking when Little Rascals is going to be open. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making sure everything is right. We’ve tried to do everything properly, not cut any corners, and hopefully people will notice that.”
Both of the owners and their families have been busy developing Little Rascals, working long hours to ensure everything is ready for this weekend.
The soft play centre also includes its own football pitch complete with nets and basketball hoops plus a sensory room, ideal for young babies and children with special needs. It also has a cafe which will serve locally sourced produce.
Dave added: “Myself and Ben would probably admit that we’re not very practically minded when it comes to DIY, but we’ve been able to get a paintbrush out, cut some wood, do all sorts of little jobs, so we’ve been here to help and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“We’ve had a lot of family and friends helping us and giving up their time. There’s been a real team spirit and everyone feels a part of it.”
Ben, also a father of two, said: “It’s been tough at times as it’s a big project we’ve embarked on, but we’re just so excited that we’re now ready to open.
“We’ve got 10 employees and we’re delighted with the staff we’ve got on board. They’re equally excited to be involved with something new as well.
“Right from the start we wanted to create a real brand as we want this to be here for a long time and we want to build a really solid business.”
Dave, who started his career at Shrewsbury Town, added his Wolves team mates Carl Ikeme and Scott Golbourne have already paid a visit to Little Rascals with their families.
He said: “We’ve got a very young squad at Wolves and I think a lot of them think I’m mad, thinking this far ahead in my career, but they’ve all been really supportive and the players with young children are excited to come and have a look.
“I’ll also have to entice a few of my old team mates from Shrewsbury down with their children.”
Picture: Ben Wootton, back left, and Wolves footballer Dave Edwards, back right, the co-owners of Little Rascals, get ready for today’s official opening of their soft play centre in Shrewsbury with excited children.