HOW MUCH DOES SOFT PLAY EQUIPMENT COST?
One of the most common questions we are asked at House of Play is about the cost of equipment, especially for people who may be setting up for the first time. Like anything, play equipment can come in a wide variety of prices depending on what features you are after and at what size.
We are proud of our British made and manufactured products and whilst it is certainly possible to find cheaper equivalents of our designs elsewhere, these are made with cheap imported steel which unfortunately, cannot meet the rigorous safety and quality checks that soft play equipment requires. It is a false economy to spend less upfront if the frame is constantly breaking and not fit for purpose. When it comes to a quality supplier you can trust, we will not be beaten on price thanks to the 25 + years of industry experience we have at House of Play.
THE AVERAGE COST OF SETTING UP A SOFT PLAY CENTRE
The typical set-up costs for a soft play project are approximately £25,000 – £30,000 per 1000 square foot although one main factor affecting the price is the size of the building. For example, premises under 5000 square foot that have a lower ceiling height affects what is possible to achieve in a soft play frame. This will be cheaper than one that has a high ceiling and can accommodate a taller structure. However, actual costs are determined by design choices and if necessary, any improvements that may need to be done to the building in order to make it suitable for a play structure e.g. removal of walls.
It is worth stating that starting a play business is a significant investment and House of Play are unique in their ability to support you with setting up every step of the way – and supporting you once you have! This support extends to financial guidance. The majority of projects, especially for those starting off their soft play business journey, are financed by a mixture of personal savings, borrowing from a bank or asset finance.
WHERE TO GET FUNDING?
House of Play work with a fantastic asset finance company who are able to advise what could be possible for you to achieve so you can decide if asset finance is the right option for you. Most customers, other than those that are fully self-financed (and there are not many of those) use asset finance to some level. Generally, banks tend to lend to home owners with savings of 30-40% towards set up costs and fixed assets at least equal to the value of the loan (usually property). In comparison, asset finance lenders tend to lend to home owners and require only a 10% deposit towards any loan.
ALTERNATIVE SOFT PLAY VENUES
The information above relates to dedicated soft play projects. If you are wanting to set up a café with play rather than a play centre, costs can (and should!) be significantly lower. Soft play cafes are designed to predominantly make their money through the café element rather than the play element and this needs to be considered carefully. We have produced a dedicated blog for this which can be found here.
We would encourage you to contact the friendly and experienced House of Play team to discuss your options if you cannot decide which path is most suitable for you, how to achieve the correct mix for your business or, if you want advice about financial assistance – please ring us on 01302 846876, we’d be happy to help!