Empty Northampton warehouse to be a play centre

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A mother-of-two hopes to convert an empty Northampton warehouse into a play centre after becoming frustrated by what she claims is a lack of facilities for young children in the town.

Scaldwell resident, Valentina Potter, plans to convert a 26,000 sq ft warehouse on the Riverside Retail Park into a soft play centre.

She said the ‘continental style’ centre would feature familiar facilities, such as ball pools and log ramps, as well as such things as a calm zone and a sensory area.

She said: “Since becoming parents four years ago, we realised there’s an acute shortage of children’s sports and leisure facilities in the county.

“We find ourselves constantly driving up and down the motorway to Milton Keynes and beyond to entertain and engage our children.

“It amazes us how two towns so similar in size can differ so much in the facilities available.

“So we want to invest in our town and create a much-needed facility.”

Plans for the development in Carousel Way have only recently been submitted to Northampton Borough Council. They show the warehouse which would be converted has been empty since 2010.

It has been estimated the development would create about 30 new jobs, with the centre due to open in either late June or early July.

As part of her plans for the centre, Mrs Potter said special music and art classes would also be held for children with learning difficulties and disabled children.

Once a month, the centre would also be reserved for the exclusive use of children with disabilities

The centre would have parking spaces for about 60 cars.

Officials from Northampton Borough Council’s planning department are due to decide whether or not the development should be allowed to go ahead by the end of April.