A Teesside businesswoman has realised her career ambition by opening a play-cafe in Stockton town centre with the help of legal specialists, Jacksons Law Firm.
Erica Turner, partner and head of commercial property at Jacksons, advised Emma Young, owner of Imagination Playground on the move to the new premises. Stockton based landlords, and urban regeneration specialist, Jomast secured the letting.
Emma obtained financial assistance for her new venture from Transmit Start-ups in Gateshead, and a grant from Stockton Council to assist with her the costs of fitting the premises out.
Imagination Playground opened on 14th September in what used to be All Things Wool on Silver Street, offering parents and carers of children the chance to have a cuppa whilst the kids enjoy the soft play area. Emma employs three members of staff and is currently looking at taking on an apprentice. It is hoped that the move will help create new jobs in the future.
Emma said, “Erica at Jacksons was a fantastic help in getting the lease signed on my new premises. She assisted with interpreting the legalities of the change in planning use classes which came into effect at the beginning of September. She was efficient and friendly at the same time. I received funding by way of a start-up loan from the government backed ‘Transmit Start-ups’, which enabled me to pay for my legal fees, bond and set-up of the play areas. We have taken off well as so many children missed out on going to play areas during lockdown. Hopefully, once things finally settle down with COVID, we can look at expanding the business and increasing our capacity for children per play session.”
Erica Turner said, “Stockton is at the forefront of the transformation and regeneration of our high streets. It was great to assist a client who is looking to seize the opportunity to create a destination within our high street and recognise that our town centres do have a future if we all invest in them.”
This is a positive move which demonstrates that there is still confidence out there for businesses investing in town centres in the region. With low parking rates and quick and easy payment methods, Stockton town centre is a great place for families looking for easy access to local shops and other facilities.
To find out more about the play café, visit www.imaginationplayground.co.uk.
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