Shropshire Star

Market town's popular soft play centre up for sale after six years of entertaining kids

A family-run soft play centre with an Alice in Wonderland theme has been put up for sale six years after it was set up.

Mad Hatters soft play, Church Stretton. Photo: Goodwins Business Brokers Ltd/Rightmove

Mad Hatters has entertained children up to the age of 12 since it opened in 2018 at Mynd Industrial Estate in Church Stretton.

The business is now on the market for £70,000, with the agents, Goodwins Business Brokers Ltd of Rotherham, entertaining prospective buyers.

The listing says: "The business has forged a distinguished reputation for providing an unparalleled soft play experience, with a multi-level soft play frame for children up to 12 years old. The business also caters for under 3s with a separate area, along with the homemade food available in the café. The establishment capitalizes on the unique proposition of its location - with limited competitors locally and the reliable wet weather in the UK.

"The business has a unique offering of monthly memberships, which provide consistent ongoing revenue, whilst providing added value to the loyal customer base. Additionally, there is drama and work out workshops being held onsite by a working partner, bringing additional exposure to the play centre.

"The centre is ideally placed as a hub for friends and families to meet whilst children are fully entertained in a clean and safe environment."

Mad Hatters soft play, Church Stretton. Photo: Goodwins Business Brokers Ltd/Rightmove

The agents say other complimentary offers include: naming ceremonies; baby showers; after hours rental for exercise classes, family gatherings, Slimming World, book clubs, youth clubs; Brownies, Beavers, Cubs, and guides use it for sleepovers and cooking badges; pop-up restaurants such as successful tapas and Greek nights with alcohol license; nerf gun parties are popular for older children; options of looking at Laser Tag; messy play; toddler groups; knit and natter; toddler discos; baby sensory; breastfeeding groups.

Mad Hatters currently employs nine part-time staff alongside the current owner.

Explaining the sale, Goodwins adds: "With the owners poised to venture into new opportunities, the business is on the market, presenting a turnkey operation for aspiring owners or existing chains looking to expand. The sale will encompass all aspects of the business, including the brand, high quality fit out, loyal clientele, and seasoned team."

Mad Hatters soft play, Church Stretton. Photo: Goodwins Business Brokers Ltd/Rightmove
Mad Hatters soft play, Church Stretton. Photo: Goodwins Business Brokers Ltd/Rightmove

The business turns over around £103,000 with adjusted net profits of around £15,000.

"The business completes between two and six private parties each week with the option of a character guest for each party (spiderman, unicorn, dino or princess) boosting revenue to a captive audience," the listing adds.

"The business is located on a modern industrial park with customer parking and scope to expand into neighbouring units as and when they become available. The premises has been completed to a very high standard with a large multi-level soft play frame, toddlers soft play area, large capacity open seating area and café serving hot and cold food/drinks including after school dinners throughout the week.

"There is an additional storage to the rear of the soft play, which is used as an office/staff room but has previously been used a smaller private party space which could be re-introduced. There is also outdoor space that could be utilised in the warmer months.

"The vendor has made significant improvements to the property and introduced catering equipment and furnishings which offer a warm and welcoming environment for customers and requires no further investment from an incoming operator who can capitalise on the extensive, high quality fit out to date."

Mad Hatters. Photo: Google

Mad Hatters was founded in 2018, with director Paula Hatfield admitted it was a "completely new venture" for the Craven Arms-based family.

Speaking shortly before opening, she said: “We all live in Craven Arms and have an extended family of 10 children, so we are very child-friendly and hope we know what youngsters want. We launched a Facebook page and could not believe the response we received.

“My eldest grandson is nine years old so we have about nine years experience in visiting soft play areas all over. They are extremely popular and we felt there was a need in this area so we thought we would give it a go ourselves.”