Couple hope play centre plans will help community

A UNIQUE centre for mums and youngsters could soon be opening its doors in March thanks to a couple who are keen to give something back to their community.

Mike and Jennifer Lyall are planning to transform an empty High Street shop into a play centre for mums and young children and also provide a unit for older children with electronic games.

If planning permission is granted by Fenland District Council, Play Time Local and Game Time Local could be open for business by the beginning of August. It will give new life to the large premises at 117 and 119 High Street formerly home to Edgoose’s carpet and soft furnishings business.

Project manager Mr Lyall has been working in West Africa but the family have lived in March off and on for around 10 years. He said: We have been contemplating doing something like this for a while. We wanted to give something back to society and are not just doing it for profit.

“We realised if we could get premises which were big enough we could provide toys like bouncy castles and climbing frames for the younger children and also target older ones and give them something more than drugs, alcohol, and violent games. The great thing about it is that unlike other play centres you don’t need a car to get to us.”

The Lyalls, who are committed Christians, are keen to point out that all the games available will be non-violent and family orientated. Mr Lyall said: “We have been very lucky in finding some good people to help us with this.”

The centre will have different dedicated and safe sections for various age groups. Mums and toddlers aged from 0-3years will be able to use the centre free of charge but for older children there will be a charge of around �2.99. Mr Lyall added: “No child will be excluded for the sake of money.”

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While Mrs Lyall will be running the centre with volunteers Mr Lyall will be helping out with the cooking. There will be a variety of refreshments and snacks on offer. Opening times are expected to be from around 10am until 7pm so not to have an adverse affect on Young People March.

The couple hope to use the March centre as a blueprint for others in Fenland.