Funds Raised


Final AER


Loan term


Auction Closed


Recovery News
This loan may be behind with its repayment schedule and so microloan trading has been suspended while we work to help the business recover its repayment form. Please see the Loan Updates tab for recent updates.

About the Business

Company Name: PLAY AWAY (REDDISH) LIMITED Company Number: 09569992
Business Type: Other Years Trading: 6-10 years
Business Location: 36 CHESTER SQUARE

About the Risk

Risk rating


Default rate


Bad debt rate


About the Security

Security Offered:

All Assets Debenture - Fixed and floating charge created over all assets of applicant company

Est. Equity: 0.00

Personal Guarantee - Done (PG from director and majority shareholder)

Est. Equity: 0.00

2nd Charge on Residential Property - Second priority legal charge over personally-owned residential property

Est. Equity: 0.00

Risk Indicators Identified:

Important Files

Who are we?

Important Notice

This loan is for the purchase of a Soft Play Centre, currently trading as Anchors Away Ltd. On Successful purchase of the business, the company will trade under a newly incorporated company Play Away Limited

Please note that the accounts listed in the Financials section are those of Anchors Away Limited.

We are a soft play centre for children with an on-site cafeteria. We currently offer a soft play environment and birthday party option for children.

I have attached the business plan for you to have a look at. As the business stands, there are no business development activities taking place. If we were successful in a purchase, this is the main area we would look at, linking in with local mums networks, schools, baby clinics and small businesses (I have already done most of this and been in conversations with some mums to find out their likes/dislikes of play centres in the local area). The party packages they are currently offering are basic, so we would look to increase these as well as offering 'pamper parties' which seem to be all the rage at the moment, and I have already spoken to a local children's hairdressing business about them offering this package with us.

In addition we would arrange fun days, with characters attending (we could buy the character costumes for a relatively low price on eBay and have them in stock), in addition you could offer bouncy castle parties as there is enough square footage in the building to do this also. Furthermore, there are many different classes we could offer on a daily basis, and I have listed only a few on the business plan, you could increase this to 5/6 different classes a day, but the business plan shows that by just offering two a day, the increase in income is vast, not to mention the increase in cafe income this would also provide.

There is very limited competition in soft play centres in the area the business is situated, with two being situated 3 miles either side. Having been to all of these centres with my children, based in South Manchester, Anchors Away is the best one by far, easiest to access, best parking facilities and largest space, where you can see your child at all times, even when on the frame, which is always a plus point in my opinion. This is the play centre we go to most regularly and I know it is the same for many friends in the local area.

The cafe currently being run within the play barn is good, but limited, offering basic meals and not necessarily the healthiest of options. This is something we would look to change within the first few months of operating, offering healthier options and more of a variety, which I believe will then prompt more parents to eat there, for instance after school. If they come with their children and the menu is affordable and healthy, then they are more likely to feed their children there for convenience. In addition you could look into toddler menus to appeal to the mums with tots and one thing as a mum I know I would like, decent coffees and fresh cream cakes sourced from a local baker daily!

We would also look to create a 'Parents Corner' - one thing I note about these places is they cater for the children and not the parents necessarily. In my opinion, children will play anywhere, it is the parents that decide whether or not they return! If the play centre was somewhere where the parents felt relaxed, they are more likely to return time and time again, as well as tell their mum friends, and news of a good play centre in that network always travels fast. We would also look to have a member of staff solely responsible for entertaining the children, something no-where else offers. Games like Simon Says, hide and seek etc - so the parents can catch up with their friends/emails/read a magazine in peace whilst their little ones have fun.

Also attached you will find:

•Last 3 years of the current business accounts

• Business Plan Financials

Read more

Loan Offers

What is the loan for?

We would like the loan so that we can purchase the shares, goodwill and assets of the soft play centre, Anchors Away, and install a sensory area as there isn't one locally for babies and disabled children. We would also like to use the money to make improvements to the café and menu.

Our 5 year plan for the business would be as follows:

Month 1 - Year 2:

Immediately we will begin online marketing more prominently. Firstly, taking over the Facebook page we would generate 'like and share' competitions to increase the pages 'likes', which is already at 858. We would also create a Twitter and Instagram page to create more online awareness of the Play Centre, as well as advertising in all local businesses that relate to children or where families would attend.

Another immediate change would be to create more weekly sessions to cater for all different families. For instance, just a few examples would be:

• New Mum coffee mornings

• Mums and Tots toddler sessions

• Craft sessions for toddlers and after school sessions for older children

• Baby Massage sessions

We would also continue to offer the sessions already in place, and standard admission charges would apply to all entrants.

We would link into all local schools (I am a Governor at one of the local schools so can use connections here), baby clinics and childminders, creating attractive incentives for them to attend the play centre on a regular basis, reward schemes/free coffee for the parents/childminders etc. I know quite a few childminders in this area and have spoken to them all by way of market research. Childminders don't tend to go to play centres due to the cost and the meals on offer. As such we would create affordable packages for local childminders (we have established costs from the childminders themselves), and also offer child minder only sessions on school days (in the quieter parts of the day) to create incentives for them to make it a regular part of their working week. Once this has established, word of mouth in the child minding circuit is the best form of advertising!

We intend to keep the party packages currently on offer, as they are popular, but will create other packages, that are more expensive but include more items. For instance, currently there are two packages:

£50 for 10 children - includes food (from a small menu choice) and an hours play £150 for 25 children - includes food and an hours play

We would offer an additional 2 party packages to start with for the following prices:

• £85 - 10 children

-• £195 - 25 children

These two packages would offer additional benefits like: A cake, party games, balloons etc

We have also spoken to a local childrens hairdressers and would link in with them to offer pamper parties for children, which seem to be quite popular of late.

We would also look to purchase 'Character Costumes' from eBay and keep them in stock, so we can market 'Character Days' to attract local families at the weekends, these could also be a benefit of opting for a more expensive party option for childrens birthdays, having their favourite character appear to make their day extra special.

Cinema mornings would be another weekend venture - playing Disney films on a projector with breakfast packages for the little ones. Fun Days with magicians and many more. We would ensure to offer all sessions on a regular basis, set days and times so people will be able to check the website and social media each week to see which one they can attend.

We would also change the meals on offer to the children at parties, offering lunch boxes and more healthy options that the parents would feel happy with.

In addition to all of the above, some of our other immediate changes will be as follows:

Increase the child age/entry price (as detailed on our business plan)

• Increase the opening hours

• Open on all bank holidays (with the exception of Christmas)

There is a lot of free space in the building so we would also look to create evening events for adults such as:

• Zumba

• Bums and Tums fitness classes for mums

• Childrens dance classes (all different ages) , Plus many more

By the end of year 2, we intend to invest in a sensory room for the play centre. We have already received a quote for this and it would be in the region of £5000. If the business does well enough we may even look to do this in year one. There are no local sensory rooms since a local sure-start centre closed down. As such parents with babies and/or disabled children have to travel a fair distance to achieve a good sensory experience for their child, so I think this would be very popular.

Year 3 - 5

By year three, we hope to have paid off the majority of the business loan. As such, we aim to be in a position to open a second play centre in the South Manchester area, so the beginning of a brand of play centres. There aren't many play centres in the South Manchester area, and the ones that are established are not very popular for a number of reasons, so we do believe there is a market for some more local centres that offer a better experience for both parents and children.

We would also then look to offer after school club facilities and maybe even a 'Shop and Drop' service for parents, once we are established and have recruited fully qualified childcare providers and registered the business with OFSTED.

Why consider investing?

The business currently relies on foot traffic and it’s already large following. The potential within the business to increase the net profit it is already achieving is vast. By linking with local businesses, schools and mums nets we can increase the revenue hugely. It will be a family run business, which both myself and my mum, Kath would be in charge of.

Directors Background

Emma Mander

My career thus far has been in Business Development, mainly in Property (Lettings/Sales/Auction/Buy to Let) and I have operated in this career for almost 14 years. I believe that my transferable business development skills will benefit the business greatly. Kath has worked mostly in Operations Management and also has a strong background in Business Development and Mobilisation of large contracts, currently overseeing 100 contracts nationwide. Kath also has a strong background in bookkeeping. In addition, Kath also has experience of setting a business up from scratch many years ago, where she and a partner opened a printing business which operated successfully for some years.

I have 2 children of my own, aged 3 and 5. Both are now in school, but as a result I have a lot of experience in recent years as a parent attending soft play centres, including this one in particular as it is a local play centre to us which we attend regularly. In fact, this play centre is the busiest and most popular within a 5 mile radius, and this is also the opinion of many friends I have with children of the same age. We are of the belief that with the majority of soft play centres, there is a prominant area where the operators could focus on a lot more, which is on the parent. Many of the soft play centres cater mostly for the children and not the parents. In our opinion, children will happily play anywhere, but it is the parents that decide whether or not to return! We would focus strongly on the parents experience as well as the children. Initially we would create a 'parents corner' offering a comfortable setting with magazines and wifi. We would also re-create the menu to offer fresh cream cakes and good coffee! What's more, we would also change the current menu to offer a lot more healthy options for children, as the parents would feel a lot happier knowing that their child is getting a healthy but affordable meal and are more likely to use the cafeteria whilst at the centre for their childs meal.


The loan is to be secured by way of Directors Guarantee and 3rd Party Guarantee (from the directors husband), All Assets Debenture and a 2nd Charge on a personal Property

The Personal Guarantees will be backed by Personal Guarantee Insurance. The Directors and her partner co own a property with an estimated value of £210k and approximately £72k Equity.

07/02/2016£1,871.43£0.00£1,871.43Interest only
07/06/2016£1,804.10£0.00£1,804.10Interest only
07/07/2016£3,254.27£1,450.17£1,804.101138 days overdue
07/08/2016£3,254.27£1,473.34£1,780.931107 days overdue
07/09/2016£3,254.27£1,496.88£1,757.391076 days overdue
07/10/2016£3,254.27£1,520.79£1,733.481046 days overdue
07/11/2016£3,254.27£1,545.08£1,709.191015 days overdue
07/12/2016£3,254.27£1,569.77£1,684.50985 days overdue
07/01/2017£3,254.27£1,594.84£1,659.43954 days overdue
07/02/2017£3,254.27£1,620.32£1,633.95923 days overdue
07/03/2017£3,254.27£1,646.21£1,608.06895 days overdue
07/04/2017£3,254.27£1,672.50£1,581.77864 days overdue
07/05/2017£3,254.27£1,699.22£1,555.05834 days overdue
07/06/2017£3,254.27£1,726.37£1,527.90803 days overdue
07/07/2017£3,254.27£1,753.95£1,500.32773 days overdue
07/08/2017£3,254.27£1,781.96£1,472.31742 days overdue
07/09/2017£3,254.27£1,810.43£1,443.84711 days overdue
07/10/2017£3,254.27£1,839.35£1,414.92681 days overdue
07/11/2017£3,254.27£1,868.74£1,385.53650 days overdue
07/12/2017£3,254.27£1,898.59£1,355.68620 days overdue
07/01/2018£3,254.27£1,928.92£1,325.35589 days overdue
07/02/2018£3,254.27£1,959.73£1,294.54558 days overdue
07/03/2018£3,254.27£1,991.04£1,263.23530 days overdue
07/04/2018£3,254.27£2,022.85£1,231.42499 days overdue
07/05/2018£3,254.27£2,055.16£1,199.11469 days overdue
07/06/2018£3,254.27£2,087.99£1,166.28438 days overdue
07/07/2018£3,254.27£2,121.35£1,132.92408 days overdue
07/08/2018£3,254.27£2,155.24£1,099.03377 days overdue
07/09/2018£3,254.27£2,189.67£1,064.60346 days overdue
07/10/2018£3,254.27£2,224.65£1,029.62316 days overdue
07/11/2018£3,254.27£2,260.19£994.08285 days overdue
07/12/2018£3,254.27£2,296.29£957.98255 days overdue
07/01/2019£3,254.27£2,332.98£921.29224 days overdue
07/02/2019£3,254.27£2,370.25£884.02193 days overdue
07/03/2019£3,254.27£2,408.11£846.16165 days overdue
07/04/2019£3,254.27£2,446.58£807.69134 days overdue
07/05/2019£3,254.27£2,485.66£768.61104 days overdue
07/06/2019£3,254.27£2,525.37£728.9073 days overdue
07/07/2019£3,254.27£2,565.72£688.5543 days overdue
07/08/2019£3,254.27£2,606.70£647.5712 days overdue
07/09/2019£3,254.27£2,648.35£605.92Not Due
07/10/2019£3,254.27£2,690.65£563.62Not Due
07/11/2019£3,254.27£2,733.64£520.63Not Due
07/12/2019£3,254.27£2,777.31£476.96Not Due
07/01/2020£3,254.27£2,821.67£432.60Not Due
07/02/2020£3,254.27£2,866.75£387.52Not Due
07/03/2020£3,254.27£2,912.55£341.72Not Due
07/04/2020£3,254.27£2,959.07£295.20Not Due
07/05/2020£3,254.27£3,006.35£247.92Not Due
07/06/2020£3,254.27£3,054.37£199.90Not Due
07/07/2020£3,254.27£3,103.17£151.10Not Due
07/08/2020£3,254.27£3,152.74£101.53Not Due
07/09/2020£3,254.27£3,203.10£51.17Not Due