Exciting plans for big indoor play centre and nursery at Peterborough’s former Thomas Cook offices

An artist's impression of a slide at the proposed day centre
An artist's impression of a slide at the proposed day centre
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Exciting plans for a new indoor play centre at the former Thomas Cook office park have been revealed.

Soft play and party venue Safari MK has applied for planning permission for the venture in Coningsby Road, Bretton.

The former Thomas Cook offices in Bretton

The former Thomas Cook offices in Bretton

The plans submitted to Peterborough City Council also include a 40-place children’s day nursery with access to the indoor play facilities.

More than 60 jobs are expected to be created should planning permission be granted, with recruitment starting in the summer, beginning with the centre manager, nursery manager and head chef positions.

Safari MK is a family-run business and recently won an award from the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions for excellence for food and beverage at its Milton Keynes venue.

Managing director Gordon Forster said: “We have been looking for two years to find the correct site across the Midlands area. We are extremely excited to have found this site and look forward to offering the families of Peterborough the same high standards of play and eating experience that our customers in Milton Keynes know and love.

“Opportunity Peterborough have also been extremely supportive of our aims to open a great new leisure facility in Peterborough and, if there are no delays with gaining planning permission, we aim to open at the start of 2019.”

Holiday giant Thomas Cook sold its former offices, which it had owned since 1996, to South Africa based investment company Stenprop at the start of this year. The holiday firm is now based at offices in Westpoint, Lynch Wood.

The new play centre called ‘Safari indoor play and party venue Peterborough’ would be more than 27,000 sq ft with the aim of “providing something unique for families in Peterborough and the surrounding areas.”

It would offer a “large and exciting play frame as well as areas for imaginative play,” with the owners hoping to “create a play and educational venue where children and parents or carers can enjoy spending time together.”

Safari MK currently specialises in themed parties using a range of hand-painted, party rooms, including a princess room.

The new application comes just before Saturday’s opening of Adventure Land – the £1 million-plus new leisure destination at Springfields in Spalding which includes the UK’s largest JCB Young Drivers Zone where children will be able to drive around in bright yellow diggers.