Ambitious plans for teens’ action centre in Leyland

Joanne Worsfold at the unit in Tomlinson Road, Leyland, which she hopes to open as an activity and play centre
Joanne Worsfold at the unit in Tomlinson Road, Leyland, which she hopes to open as an activity and play centre
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A one-of-a-kind activity centre could open in Leyland for youngsters and teenagers to enjoy go-karting, laser tag and a climbing wall.

Exciting plans are in the pipeline for a play zone to be created in the Tomlinson Road Industrial Estate, which will also include party rooms, games consoles, football space, a cafe, and possibly even a cinema.

A Leyland family has come up with the innovative idea as they want somewhere in the town to take children and teens of all ages.

Mum-of-two Joanne Worsfold, who has also been on the Leyland Festival committee for the last three years, is pioneering the project with her husband Paddy, and her parents, John and Kathy Wood.

The family has strong links in the town already as they run successful haulage business APC Overnight, which has been established for around 20 years and moved to Leyland in 2005.

Joanne said: “We wanted to expand but we wanted to do something other than transport; we want to do something for the community and we’ve spent the last two years researching and finding out what we think Leyland needs.

“We’re from Leyland ourselves, and we thought an activity and play centre would be really suitable for the town.

“ It also means we’re continuing to invest in the area and are creating more jobs.”

Plans have been submitted to South Ribble Council and a decision is set to be made at a delegated level in the next few weeks.

“It’s really exciting,” Joanne added. “I’m really looking forward to it.

“We just realised that there isn’t really anywhere where all the family can go.

“Most play centres are for under-12s, and I have an eight-year-old who is still happy to go to those types of places, but my 10-year-old wants something a bit different.

“We want to reach out to everyone and to all budgets, and we’re also hoping to create a room for adults where they can see what’s going on, but can chill out and have some peace and quiet.

“We’re in the proess of buying the building, so there will be room to expand in the future.

“We have bigger plans in our reach once we’re up and running properly.

“For example, there is no longer a community cinema in Leyland, so we’d really like to bring that back.”

Joanne added that her involvement in the Leyland Festival had really opened her eyes as to what the community wanted.

“I’ve been speaking to lots of different people and organisations, and they all say there are very limited places for teenagers to go in the evenings,” she said.

“The play centre will be open until 6pm but there is scope to keep the premise open until 9pm, so laser tag tournaments or football games could be held there.

“We’re just trying to bring the community together again.”

Spread over 10,079 sq ft, the family hopes to attract scouts, youth groups and schools to hire out the space too.

The planning application reads: “We would also welcome the use of the soft play area for children with disabilities and would offer private day time sessions if needed.

“We are also looking to run child classes which would involve arts and crafts, dance, music, and keep-fit.”

Another family firm is also getting in on the action, as Paintball Trax, based in Midge Hall, Leyland, will run the laser tag facility.

“We’ve all got our own businesses to run,” Joanne explained.

“But if we come together, we think it could work really well.”

There are 50 parking spaces at the unit, and it is envisaged that two full-time, and eight part-time staff from the ‘local community’ would be employed.