Diss soft play area Monsters set for possible revival under new ownership
A man has set his sights on resurrecting a highly popular business.
Adam Leonard, who lives in Diss, hopes to reopen Monsters, a children’s soft play business in Hopper Way, after it closed last month when the former owner stepped down to care for his ill wife.
Mr Leonard, who has visited the business many times as a customer with his six-year-old daughter Ella, is hoping to secure a government loan in order to reopen the site, but is also looking for any investors who may wish to join him in the venture.
He said: “I potentially have a funder in October, but I’m waiting to see if this materialises, while also going for the loan support.
“If I can get the right funding, then I will take this on by myself, but if there is anyone who would like to become an equal partner, then that would help.
“I really don’t see this as a risk as I know it will thrive with some new changes and adaptations. I certainly have the determination and the enthusiasm to make it work.”
The 33-year-old has been working as a support worker for people with learning difficulties for the past 11 years, and does not like the idea of children missing out.
He is also keen to see the centre embed itself in the local community and has pledged to donate some money to worthwhile causes.
“It will be a non-profit business and anything that can be made will be invested back into the establishment,” he said.
“I would only need to pay myself a living wage and any staff members would be given a good wage, too, as a lot of the time the workers don’t get the credit they deserve.
“Aside from that, any profit will either go towards improving the business or supporting the town.
“I’ll be looking to see if there is anything I can do for the town, such as providing funding towards the Christmas lights, the park’s equipment and local charities.
“I would especially like to give towards local causes which support children with learning difficulties or mental health problems.”
Mr Leonard announced his hopes for Monsters on Facebook on Monday and received a tide of positive comments.
Suzannah Couszins said: “I would definitely support Monsters again if it reopened – it’s my daughter’s favourite place. We drive a good 20 minutes to go there, and she loves having her birthday party there.”
Jade Logsdail-Oliver said: “My son would be so happy if it reopened. I love monsters. Please if you can do it, do it. I wish I had the money to help. It’s a shame you have to go so far to go anywhere like this now.”
Mr Leonard’s post did attract a degree of criticism and some telling questions, but he was quick to welcome all comments, whether they were positive or not.
“The feedback from the community has been amazing,” he said.
“There was some criticism but I take everything on board and I believe I have a constructive answer for any questions that people may have.
“I’m hoping I’ll be able to secure it but I believe there are other parties interested, too.
“If it falls through and I’m not successful, I would still like to be part of the new team, provided they have good morals and ethos,” he added.