Les Crofts says his Jumbo’s Jungle indoor play centre will be coming to Chatteris despite social media scepticism

PUBLISHED: 16:55 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:55 14 February 2017

Val Alan, an associate of Les Crofts, has launched this JustGiving web page to raise funds for Jumbo's Jungle. It has yet to get its first donation. PHOTO: JustGiving

Val Alan, an associate of Les Crofts, has launched this JustGiving web page to raise funds for Jumbo's Jungle. It has yet to get its first donation. PHOTO: JustGiving


A businessman insisted that Jumbos Jungle indoor soft play centre will be opening in Chatteris despite setbacks and social media rumours wondering why it has not opened this month.

Les Crofts, who runs two businesses converting vans into campers and making recovery trucks in Chatteris, says the builders are working on a unit in Honeysome Road where they are fixing leaks in the roof, re-wiring and putting down a new floor.

He said he has paid back everybody who bought VIP memberships in advance at a cost of £200 each and added he was looking for investors to help launch the half a million play centre - which is why there is a Just Giving page offering a financial opportunity with a 10 per cent return within a year.

Les said: “There’s been a lot of chat on Facebook about my business from people who know nothing about it. We’ve had problems finding a unit.

“Once landlords know we want a change of use they’re not interested.

“We’ve now found a unit, one we looked at originally, that has outline planning from Fenland District Council, but it’s sat empty for more than 10 years so needs lots of work which is why things got delayed.

hen we were broken into twice. Luckily nothing was taken as no tools are kept on site overnight.

“We don’t have the play equipment yet.

“When you’re opening a half a million pound business you need investors which is they there is a Just Giving Page,” but added he had nothing to do with it as had been set up by another person involved with the venture.

The Just Giving page says that: “At Jumbo’s we want everyone to feel at home and no matter what age have FUN.

“We offer soft play, slides, foam pit, football pitch, electric trail bikes pay and go and a lot more, in a safe and friendly environment, “Special Educational Needs area will be made as soon as possible offering a quiet area where anyone can go to relax and feel safe.

“The healthy cafe will focus on healthy living offering all types of food using local produce where possible.

“We are looking for investors, with a 10 per cent return after 12 months.

“We are making jobs and helping local businesses advertise, so the kids and everyone local will have something to do in Chatteris.

“Making a better place to come and building up local businesses. This will improve tourism in the fens and local area.”

WHAT’S YOUR VIEW? Email any comments please to kath.sansom@archant.co.uk or call the newsdesk on 01354 6610915

1 comment

  • I'm sorry but this whole thing seems to be a witch hunt of the greatest degree. I purchased a membership and have had a full refund after I was contacted by Mr Crofts long before you published this, despite this I will purchase another when it opens. I saw the comments on the Facebook page "chatteris cambs discussion page" and was appalled when my comments stating I had had a refund were deleted by the admins of the page. Clearly there was some kind of agenda by those people. I have also taken Mr Crofts up on his offer to see the building and he's right it needs a lot of work but there are people in there fixing it. Also while it is still up for rental online I have done some research and found it has never been taken down by the rental agency due to some contract they have that stops them taking it down at this moment in time. I asked for more details about this and the agent refused to tell me because of data protection. On another note, I also asked about the Just Giving page when I took my membership out as I was interested in donating to help a local business out and was told by the lady at reception that they were not going to make it go live as it was no longer needed. I also see it has never in fact been live so no one could donate anyway. I see on your own picture that no money was raised so I question your motives when you bring it up. I think those hounding this man should be ashamed and I'm very disturbed my comments stating I have had a full refund of the membership and seen inside the building were deleted from the Facebook group. The attack this man has been under seems almost too personal. I really hope this comes to the town as it would be something we sorely need and from my experience these people have been 100% straight up and honest. I fail to see the issue here. I'm sure I will be put down for my comments (if what happened on the Facebook group is anything to go by) but credit where it's due, he did the right thing.

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    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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