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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Courier tells of plans to deliver Barrow indoor play area

A NEW indoor children’s play zone is to open in a town centre building formerly occupied by a discount store.

The new business, named Little Subs, aims to open in Barrow at the start of November inside the former Hitchens premises, which has been vacant since July 2010.

Boss Rick Gwilliam has invested more than £100,000 to revamp the building and install the latest, bespoke soft play equipment.

The 33-year-old courier, of Blackpool, has taken on five full-time members of staff and aims to create another four part-time roles.

The business, which is suitable for children up to 10 years old, will hold around 150 people in the main play area, while a separate toddler area, for children up to three, will hold up to 35 people.

Mr Gwilliam, a dad-of-three, said: “I’ve been coming to Barrow for the best part of 10 years now delivering things.

“I’ve knocked on at least a hundred doors a day delivering parcels, so it’s fair to say I know Barrow – probably better than I know Blackpool.

“I just felt this was something that was missing. There’s five or six of these establishments in Blackpool and they do extremely well – I spend a lot of time in them with my own children – and I just thought it was about time I gave something back to Barrow.”

Little Subs, named to reflect Barrow’s shipbuilding heritage, will have two dedicated areas for children’s parties, along with a mini five-a-side football pitch and mini go-karting area. And Mr Gwilliam intends to dedicate some time for children with disabilities to enjoy the play area.

He has been marketing the venture via Facebook and said: “The response has been absolutely phenomenal. It’s been quite reassuring to hear when you start something new.

“Anyone and everyone – single dads, mums’ groups, you name it – they’ve got in contact with us and there’s been a lot of interest.

“These places often tend to be on industrial estates because of the size required. But we’ve been fortunate enough to find somewhere in the centre – we’re not a long trek away.

“I’ve done a lot of research and I like to think I know what people are going to expect from us here. My wife has been a lot of the brains behind it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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