|Courtesy DP Leisure|
The opening of the second venue marks the commencement of the roll out of the extremely successful FEC brand following its initial launch and development in Milton Keynes. The new centre, situated on Stevenage Leisure Park, opened on December 12th. and at 24,000 sq. ft. is approximately a third larger than the original location.
The bigger venue has also allowed DPL’s sister company, DP Associates (DPA), to further develop the 360 Play concept, with its design and master plan bringing in a number of new attractions and creating specific zones which provide a theme park style layout, albeit on a much smaller scale, allowing visitors to ‘discover’ different areas as they move around the building.
The new location features the familiar blend of creative play and amusement which has proved so successful at the company’s Milton Keynes site. All accommodated at ground floor level, with the exception of party suites on the first floor, the offer includes the familiar 360 Play blend of children’s and family orientated activities and attractions, with three main zones offering different types of experience.
These cover physical play, creative play and skills play and include at the centre of the building a major three storey play structure incorporating a wide range of slides, climbing elements, crawl through tubes, ball zones and other familiar soft play offerings. In the same central area and beneath much of the play structure, a floor pick-up bumper car track featuring mid-size vehicles suitable for both children and adults forms part of the ‘skills zone’ which also features a carousel ride and various hands-on activities. Among these are a selection of family sports games and a climbing area made up of a series of climbing panels that children can climb along, rather than up.
Another area of the building incorporates a second, smaller play structure, this being specifically for children under four, along with a play garden and junior carousel, while adjacent to this is 360 Street housing the ‘creative play’ zone. Here visitors can find a host of different units offering a variety of interactive play elements such as Luigi’s Pizza Parlour, Vets and Pets, a dressing up shop, a fire station, Twizzle’s car body shop and more. This key area is designed to stimulate the creativity in young minds while also providing an opportunity for parents to get involved too.
Also to be found in this section of the building is a café and a large seating area, one of several areas offering places for visitors to relax and ‘base’ themselves before moving on to another part of the venue. Additional facilities elsewhere include a bespoke classroom, a private hire suite, the aforementioned party zone and an outdoor zone, Club 360, which is set to open in June 2012 and will feature sand and water play, outdoor soft play and an events area.
“We are delighted to have opened our second 360 Play venue and in an incredibly short space of time since coming on site,” said Managing Director Duncan Phillips. “We completed the build in under three months and have created what we believe to be an engaging, entertaining and inspiring family orientated facility that I am sure will enjoy the great success we have witnessed at our Milton Keynes site.
DP Associates is a strategic leisure company providing a multi-disciplinary service to leisure venue operators, developers and investors.
The founding of DPA by Duncan Phillips followed over 20 years of operational experience within the theme park industry, coupled to the design and creation, on green field sites, of highly successful attraction venues.
A wide range of expertise and services is available to clients. From initial concept design and master planning through architect and supplier briefings to implementing and opening an attraction or venue, DPA’s experience allows the company to conceive imaginative, entertaining and immersive project solutions which bring to life the client’s vision.
Additionally, DPA’s expertise extends throughout all operational aspects of a project, including visitor flows, guest demographics, attraction choice and operation, staff training and more. DPA also provides solutions for existing venues, be it in relation to individual ride based attractions, both old and new, other elements of the entertainment and facility offering or visitor numbers.
And now the company has extended its range of knowledge, expertise and services to cater to the health and fitness industry and the requirements of operators within that sector.