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Public meeting to discuss Kendal’s indoor play needs

[A] public meeting is to be held to rally support for a new indoor play facility in the Kendal area.

A local community group says there is overwhelming demand for an all-weather play area, particularly for pre-school children.

Parents John and Mhairi Helme, who have formed a community group called Outside-In, are now appealing for help to find premises, recruit volunteers and attract funding for the indoor play area project which could be run as a social enterprise.

“Yes there are parks and other places to go to when it’s warm and dry but where are we supposed to take our children to run around when it’s cold and wet?

“We carried out a survey of almost 400 people which revealed that 98% of them now support the idea of an indoor play area,” said Mhairi.

More details will be announced at a public meeting to be held on 9 January in the Assembly Room at Kendal Town Hall, starting at 7pm.

The Leader of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Councillor Giles Archibald, has promised to help Outside-In to gather as much support and advice as possible.

“While the library, the drop-in centre and the leisure centre provide great programmes, there is nowhere that is informal, continuous through the day and easy to access.

“Research undertaken by this community association has indicated a strong demand for this facility.

“In response to the perceived need, the district council and Outside-In are combining forces. We would like to invite interested individuals and community groups to come along to the public meeting to get this started,” he said.

In addition to indoor play facilities, Outside-In have ambitions to open a café and say the facilities could be enjoyed right across South Lakeland and beyond.

“We are delighted to have the backing of SLDC’s Leader. Our first step is to get the right premises and pull together a group of volunteers who are committed to making this work.

“It wouldn’t be about making profits it would be about delivering a facility which this area desperately needs and, with a good café, we’d be promoting healthy eating and activity.

“If the people of Kendal really want this we’ll do all we can to make it happen,” said Mhairi.

Anyone wishing to offer their help should email: [email protected]