Traditionally, garden centres haven’t been seen as a place for the whole family. You might hear that your Auntie Jo had popped in to pick up a few pots, or maybe your granddad had gone to buy some soil. But a family destination? Not so much. These days though, as independent businesses look for ways to increase their profits, some garden centres have had the sense to widen their offering. And that’s exactly what we helped the team at Fosseway Garden Centre do with a The Play Company installation in Summer 2019.
Tucked away in the Cotswolds countryside close to Moreton in Marsh, the independent Fosseway Garden Centre has a little something for every grown-up, whether you’re an avid gardener or not. With plenty of plants, some gorgeous gifts and several lovely lunch options on offer, there’s a lot to do at Fosseway. But it wasn’t until 2019 that they extended their offering to appeal to families with young children too.
While Fosseway has seen impressive growth since it opened in 1990, the team were looking for ways to further increase footfall and dwell time in the centre. Something aimed at children seemed the perfect proposition, to bring in a new source of revenue and to encourage families into the centre too.
What we did
We visited Fosseway to see the lie of the land and spoke with the team to pinpoint the sorts of equipment and themes that appealed to them. Within the week, we’d sent them our design proposal featuring a two-tier frame with baby, toddler and junior areas, and got the go-ahead to start creating their play barn.
We opted for a brown and green woodland theme to fit in with the nature aspect of the garden centre and used insect soft play shapes in the toddler area. There’s all sorts going on inside the junior area, including an astra slide, a tube slide and a 4-lane slide with bash bags featuring a cowhide design. And you’ll also find a ballpool, clear, crawl-through tunnels, a rock wall climbing area, physio balls and cargo netting. In other words, there’s now a lot for kids and babies to do!
Since opening in Summer 2019, the play barn has filled the gap in revenue that the Fosseway team were looking for and increased the numbers and dwell-times of families with young children. The team has been particularly pleased to welcome more customers in over the winter months than they’ve seen in the past too.