Pirates Play Centre Sets Sail in Sherwood
30th January 2012
Businesswoman Katy Kerr has opened a soft play centre in a former 1920’s swimming baths in Rowley Drive, Sherwood – but the venture very nearly didn’t happen.
Katy, who also runs the successful First Choice Nanny Agency, had long dreamed of opening a soft play centre for young children but struggled to find the right building and if she did, had problems with parking or planning permission. Jonathon Seddon of NG Chartered Surveyors solved all her problems with one phone call.
Jonathon was tasked by The Djanogly Academy to market the former indoor swimming pool in Rowley Drive. Jonathon said: “The moment I walked into the premises I knew it had huge potential for use as a soft play centre. Therefore, my one and only marketing call was to Katy whom I had spoken to in the past and knew had the business acumen and drive to make the business work”.
Katy said: “I had been looking around for two and a half years for the right property. Many soft play centres are situated in old industrial units and I had always envisaged finding something better suited and with more character. I then had a baby and was on maternity leave when Jonathon called. With a young baby, the timing wasn’t ideal, but the building was the right size and has a spectacular vaulted ceiling with the necessary height for the equipment I wanted to install.”
Jonathon said: “The building had previously been used as a climbing centre and was a little rough and ready, so needed some work, but Katy and her husband have made it look fantastic inside. With an internal height of over 8.5 metres, they have been able to create a three storey play structure which looks amazing. I have two young children which I’ve taken and they absolutely love it. Another huge plus point for me is that it serves proper coffee and does a mean slice of cake.”
Katy has taken the building, now called The Pirates Play Centre on a seven year lease. The building has been given a new lease of life with the arched roof and Gothic windows cleaned and repaired. The floor over the swimming pool has been strengthened to accommodate the three-storey junior play structure which incorporates a high, double wavy slide, sky glides, kart track, rollers, nets and rope bridges.
Designed for babies to ten year olds, there is a separate baby and toddler area with its own ball pool and slides. There are also rooms to host birthday parties and a café area.
Jonathon added: “It was great to find Katy the exact building she was looking for. Pirates Play Centre is a fantastic facility and will breathe new life into the local community. It is the only play centre of its kind for miles around, and I am sure people will come from all over Nottinghamshire to visit.”
Katy intends to open the building for more community-based projects and before and after school clubs. There are also plans to introduce a baby sensory area and to host local babies and toddler groups.
Katy has worked with children for more than ten years, with qualifications including a Cache Diploma in Childcare and Education, a Diploma in Child Psychology, and is a qualified Level Three Teaching Assistant. After working as a nanny herself, she set up First Choice Nanny Agency which provides qualified nannies, mothers’ helps, au pairs and babysitters throughout the East Midlands, and has over 500 qualified, vetted and CRB checked nannies on its books.
In 2007, Katy started Event Nannies, providing qualified childcare at weddings, sporting, corporate and special events. Event Nannies travel all over the East Midlands and provide all the equipment to keep children having fun for hours, in a safe environment.