Children’s play centre bounces into action with funding from NatWest

Children’s play centre bounces into action with funding from NatWest

A soft play centre with zip rail, slides, ball pond, rope bridge and fun ball cannons has launched in the south west of England with support from NatWest.

Hullabaloo, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, boasts an 8 by 10 metre play frame full of interesting activities designed for children from babies up to the age of-12 years.

The centre was established by husband and wife team Mac and Pat Chappell, who previously worked as a property developer and marketing manager of a popular high street shoe brand respectively.

The couple used their NatWest loan, which is backed by the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme, to equip the centre. Facilities also include a cafe - with a full commercial kitchen providing simple meals for customers - and a dedicated party area with laser lights, flashing lights and music.

Children have come from as far as 30 miles away to visit the soft play centre, which  has employed nine members of staff and is recruiting for an additional position.

Boosting the local community

Pat said: “We’ve had a really positive response from the community, we’ve had massive support and it’s great for us to know that we’re bringing people to Shepton and boosting the local community.”

The Chappell plan to develop the cafe and its menu and are also looking to arrange onsite book clubs and specialist sessions for children with disabilities. Longer term, the couple would like to develop a franchise model from the business.

Lesley Kennedy, Relationship Manager in the NatWest Wells office who helped the Chappells secure their loan, said: “Mac and Pat came to us with a great proposal and I’m so pleased we’ve been able to support them. It’s amazing to see what they have achieved in such a short time and their positive impact on the community.”

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