Recently, we have been reviewing the usage and financial viability of our soft play area.  Due to falling term time demand, we will be closing the soft play from June 2024. This decline in demand is expected to worsen next year, as the government extends access to free childcare spaces to children under 3. Additionally, wage and energy inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, and a labour shortage have all contributed to the increasing financial unsustainability of the soft play area.

We understand that this news may come as a disappointment to some of our customers who have enjoyed the soft play area with their little ones. However, please be assured that this decision has not been taken lightly.

While there may be a perception that the soft play is always busy, the truth is that it’s only busier term-time, specifically between 10 am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday, between October and March. However, as the weather improves, the soft play area becomes significantly quieter from April through to the Summer holidays.

Regrettably, the increased weekend and holiday trade is not sufficient to compensate for the quieter periods. Adding to this challenge, soft play parties have experienced a substantial decline of 35% compared to the previous year. Not helped by the cost-of-living crisis.

It is important to note that we would not be closing the soft play facility if circumstances were different. However, as a charity, we face the constraints of limited resources and cannot afford to support an underperforming income stream. Our priority is to ensure the continued operation of a financially sustainable business.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this transitional period. Rest assured that we are constantly evaluating our offerings to ensure that we meet the evolving needs and preferences of our valued customers.

With the closure of the soft play area, we have a unique opportunity to redirect our resources towards further improving our gym facilities. Over the years, there has been an increase in demand for our fitness facilities, and we must continue to evolve and cater to this growing need.

In line with our commitment to promoting an active lifestyle, we plan to triple the size of the gym at Writhlington.

We are not only expanding the space but also introducing a wide range of new and cutting-edge equipment. We want to ensure that every workout becomes an engaging and effective experience. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gym goer, our extended gym will have something for everyone.

The new gym extension at Writhlington (Click here for a layout overview) will provide ample space for our customers. We understand that an environment where you feel comfortable and motivated is paramount to achieving your fitness goals. To that end, the extended gym will feature three separate fitness zones as follows:

Zone 1 (existing gym) – this will remain relatively unchanged in terms of the equipment mix and feel.


Zone 2 – (new first-floor space) – this will be a new Hammer Strength pin-loaded and free weights training area.


Zone 3 (new ground floor space) – this will be a new Hammer Strength plate-loaded and free weights training area.

We understand that the atmosphere of a training space plays a crucial role in determining the quality of a workout session. We firmly believe that providing separate, yet interconnected training zones strengthens this atmosphere, ensuring privacy, focus, and an exclusive experience tailored to everyone’s needs.

Whether you are a beginner, an experienced gym goer, or someone embarking on a new fitness journey, having separate training zones eliminates self-consciousness and allows you to focus solely on your workout.

We believe that fitness is the foundation for a healthy and fulfilled life. Through our gym extension project, we are taking a significant step towards offering an exceptional fitness experience that meets the evolving needs and demands of our customers. Stay tuned for further updates in the New Year!  The future of fitness at Writhlington is about to become even brighter!


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