Setting up a Soft Play business.

With so many great ways to set up your soft-play areas, it can be hard to know where to start! There is no definitive formula, but there are some things you must take into consideration when creating your business plan.

In order to get started, we need from you:

-       A clear view of the business model and what are you selling

-       A business plan – a clear structured three year plan with a sound considered view of costs, takings, and projections of how you plan to grow the business

Points to consider:

-       What is the catchment (the amount of children) in your area? You can check out numbers at your local town council, they’ll be able to provide you with area statistics

-       What is the local demographic? Who will my custom be?

-       What sorts of buildings are available in your local area? Are we going for an in town premises with a high footfall but higher rent? Or out of town in an industrial unit, where we will need a good amount of parking.

-       It’s best to register your details with local commercial estate agents as soon as possible

-       Some key features to look for when choosing a building is that it has good height! Always look to see if the building has some character, be it height, windows, giving natural light or an unusual layout

-       Parking is key to planning permission – How many spaces does the have area available?

-       It’s a great idea but will the local planning authority think so too? Talk to them!

-       Think about employing a professional architect/ planner, the more knowledgeable people you have around you, the smoother the operation. This process can take several weeks. So plan ahead and be patient..


Formulas to help get started:

Child capacity

2 sqm = 1 child (children aged from 5+yrs)

1.5 sqm = 1 child (children aged from 0 to 4yrs)


How much do we set aside for play?

Split the space available into 3rds:

1/3 – for play

1/3 – for parent seating

1/3 – for café, kitchen, party rooms, toilets, staff room, storage and office.

Show me the money?

Option one - £900 per child

Option two – Most play areas are designed in a grid form (1.22 x 1.22m) = £1000 (this allows for a dual level structure)


Has the plan provided a budget figure for all the things I need to do

Do I have finance? 

… yes! Then well done get cracking.

….no! Ok, there are many sources of finances. 

Leasing companies

High Street Bank 



The best way to be sure is to ring the office and talk to someone

 01249 740750

We can explain more in a 5 minute conversation and can send you samples of designs and budgets to suit you