Local MSP Says Indoor & Soft Play Centres Need Urgent Support

Local MSP says indoor & soft play centres need urgent support

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has called upon the Scottish Government to guarantee funding for indoor & soft play centres. Mr Carson spoke to demonstrators outside the Scottish Parliament today and listened to their concerns about the Scottish Government’s lack of support for the sector, which has been unable to re-open as expected now due to further Coronavirus restrictions.

Commenting, Mr Carson said: “It’s cause for significant concern that play centres have had their re-opening date delayed once again, particularly when extensive measures to COVID proof soft play centres have been put in place by staff.

“Indoor and soft play centres are in the four per cent of businesses which have had to continually remain closed for the duration of the pandemic, yet they have not received the same grant funding as other firms.

“I was pleased to speak to parents and staff of play centres outside the Scottish Parliament today, they are rightfully angry at the lack of support that they have received from the Scottish Government, and should receive clarity over what financial support can be made available to them.”

The Dumfries and Galloway MSP pointed to businesses in his own constituency including  Farmers Den in Dumfries, Cocoabean, and Erniespie Farm in the Stewartry. Mr Carson has also been disappointed that new Stranraer business Edmond’s Tearoom and its attached play centre Tumble Monkeys have not yet been able to open the play centre section, specifically because of these restrictions.

He said: “The inconsistency in the Scottish Government’s regulations have really hit businesses like Tumble Monkeys -both a tearoom and a play centre- hard, younger children are already subject to different social distancing; with the wider economy being gradually allowed to re-open, it is easy to see why there is a great deal of confusion about the seemingly mixed messages from the Government in Holyrood.
“As the father of a one year-old daughter, I understand the pressure that these closures put on the entire community; parents know the importance of indoor & soft play centre provision, young children are starting out with an early years disadvantage by not having access to the socialisation that they provide, and valuable local employment is at risk.
“The First Minister once said that education was her number one priority – it’s time that she provided some answers, so that we can safeguard the future of indoor & soft play centres.”