Play cafe opens its doors after cash boost from Rugby town centre retail start up scheme

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THE Play Cafe is the latest new business to open in Rugby Town Centre and the very first to benefit from a grant of £5,000 from the retail start up scheme.

The scheme funded by Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First, was recently boosted by £10,000 from the ‘Portas Pilot’ fund, thanks to the support of local MP Mark Pawsey, increasing the maximum potential award to businesses from £3,000 to £5,000.

The family friendly cafe, specifically geared towards children, welcomed customers for the first time on Saturday and was overwhelmed by the support and interest it received.

The Play Cafe concept, developed in America, is the first outside of London. Located in Church Street, the cafe serves quality food and drink, and has seating for 30 people, including 12 highchairs. It is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm, and Saturday 9.30am to 2pm.

The cafe offers a funky food art menu packed full of their five a day, a free play area for the under 5s and a 10am daily story-time. Older children are also well catered for with a great selection of board games, puzzles and books. The Play Cafe also provides some fantastic fun party packages, suitable from first birthday’s to teenagers, including teddy bears picnics, fairy academy, magic parties and discos.

Jessica Nicholls, owner of the Play Cafe, said: “I am really excited by this new venture and it was great to see it so busy at our opening on Saturday. In the New Year, in addition to our regular activities, we have lots of exciting plans including family magic shows, discos, craft clubs, music sessions and messy art play. If you have a young family and want to try something different I’d encourage you to visit The Play Cafe – we look forward to welcoming you.”

Jessica continued: “I would also like to say a special thank you to Rugby First and Rugby Borough Council who have been extremely supportive since I first approached them about setting up a business in the town centre. In addition to the start-up grant, which has made a huge difference, they have provided invaluable business advice, radios and the rangers have stopped by regularly while I have been setting up the business to check I have everything I need.”

Cllr Heather Timms: “We know the start-up scheme can make a real difference to new businesses in the crucial first few months of trading. Earlier this year the scheme was awarded the Federation of Small Business award for best small business friendly programme or campaign, in recognition of its value to the town centre economy.”

Aftab Gaffar, Managing Director of Rugby First added: “The Play Cafe concept is very different and Jessica’s first business venture and it is fantastic to be able to help her get it off the ground. If you are thinking about starting up your own business in Rugby Town Centre and wish to find out more about the Retail Start Up Scheme, which can provide funding between three and five thousand pounds, along with additional business support please call me on 01788 569 436.”

For further information please visit, email or call 07738111426.