11 June 2013

Happy Days for Wakefield play centre

A new soft play centre at our Wakefield Business Park has proved so popular it now has bookings as far ahead as December.

Happy Days Play Centre is a bright, welcoming play environment for children aged from babies up to eight years old. It is the brainchild of Amber Cooke-Thomas and husband James, who launched the start-up business in March.

A new challenge

It is the first time either of the couple has run their own business, and it is a huge change from Amber’s previous role as a PA to the director of a Leeds law firm.

“When I had my little boy, Reuben, who is now two-and-a-half, I decided I’d like a job where I could spend more time with him,” Amber says.

“We visited a lot of play centres and they were all really busy, so it got me thinking that I could fill a gap in the market in Wakefield. We both saw it as a challenge and an exciting venture and we’re so pleased we went ahead with it.”

Spacious location

Amber says Bizspace’s business centre in Wakefield was the ideal location, as it provided a space large enough and high enough to fit in all the play equipment, as well as providing free car parking.

Happy Days has been a hit with local families, with more than 150 children per day visiting at weekends. Other businesses at the centre have also seen a boost in footfall as a result.

“We have had absolutely fantastic feedback from our customers so far,” Amber says.

“We keep the centre spotlessly clean and have a good quality café that adults can enjoy too. We are getting a lot of repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, so couldn’t ask for more.”

Advice for entrepreneurs

And Amber has some words of wisdom for any budding entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching their own start-up business.

“The biggest risk is not going ahead and doing it,” she says. “If we hadn’t launched Happy Days, and then another play centre had opened here, we would always be wondering ‘what if…’

“As long as you are dedicated and have the time and determination to do your research properly, I believe every business has the potential to be a success.”

Our Wakefield Business Centre

Bizspace’s Wakefield Business Park is located on the A635 Denby Dale Road, about 1.3 miles from Wakefield city centre and 1.8 miles from Junction 39 of the M1. It provides a range of space, such as light industrial unitsoffice suites, and workshops.

For more information, contact Business Centre Manager Alice Blackband on 01226 241 427.