Hastings children’s play area forced to close

One of the activities Discovery Playground runs SUS-170610-133400001
One of the activities Discovery Playground runs SUS-170610-133400001

A popular indoor play facility for children will be closing next month.

Discovery Playground, based in the Old Town, opened last year but has been forced to shut.

Anna Beck, who set it up, said: “We opened Discovery Playground in May last year and will sadly be closing at the end of September.

“Everyone who visits loves it and feedback and reviews are amazing. But we are having to close because we can’t afford the overheads.

“I always knew this location would be tricky, but I went for it because I couldn’t get change of use on another premises.

“Ideally, we needed somewhere with low rent, an outside area, parking and space for a cafe.

“I initially went for the idea as I was confident that I would get funding to help pay for the build. Unfortunately, my application was unsuccessful and so having to fund the business on my own left me with little contingency.

“I’ve loved being part of the Old Town and have met a lot of fantastic people, who I will miss greatly.

“The council owns the Grade II listed building and I’m under a fully repairing and insuring lease, so insurance is high.

“We’ve also had the lead stolen from the roof several times which I have had to replace. Rates are huge. I haven’t actually been able to pay the council the agreed rent and it just can’t continue to support me. The council has, however, been fantastically supportive.”

Anna set up Discovery Playground because she said she realised there was a gap in the market for families looking for indoor fun locally such as soft-play facilities.

Discovery Playground runs a weekly baby group, a weekly home-ed session, a weekly Community Day, which gives a discount to residents from Hastings and the Rother area, as well as running Christmas, Halloween, Easter and birthday parties.