We are having fun again!
An award-winning children's play area – a client of RNS - reopened its doors for the first time in six months after lockdown measures were eased.
Play Avenue on Kirton Road in Messingham had been open less than 12 months before it was forced to close last March.
The child-sized high street of shops and services reopened last summer for 10 weeks up until November but has been closed subsequently.
For owner Amanda Carpenter and husband Andy, the reopening marked the end of a long road.
“We've had a great response when we have contacted people,” she said.
“For me, we are still a new business. There are still people who have not been yet and seen the fantastic facilities.”
She thanked RNS Chartered Accountants partner Gary Makinson for his initial support and subsequent help during lockdown.
“It still isn't that long ago that he looked through our business plan and reassured us about our forecasts.
“What none of us knew at the time was that, just as the business was establishing itself, we would be forced to close,” Amanda said.
“Furlough has saved us, and we have also been supported by grants and a low interest loan.
“We have been able to keep the staff we trained and who had helped get the venture off to such a strong start.
“Now, we hope people will support us and other local businesses.”
RNS partner Gary was delighted to see the venue reopening.
“Amanda and Andy had created a great asset which had had fantastic feedback, only for their world to change overnight through no fault of their own.
“COVID-19 has impacted on businesses in different ways. We have supported where we can and it is reassuring to see them reopening and revenues flowing through again.”
Play Avenue scooped the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and Experience of the Year at the Lincolnshire Tourism Excellence Awards last March and, a month ago, was runner up in the new business category at the Northern Lincolnshire Business awards.
Amanda and Andy's four-year-old son Charlie played his part.
“We wanted to do something that would make families happy.
“We had had experience ourselves going to different places with Charlie but all there was in the area were soft play areas or outdoor farms.”
Play Avenue is filled with fun costumes props, where youngsters can act out grown-up jobs, such as police or fire officer, vet, midwife, builder or grocer.
The feedback has been “fantastic”.