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Business / ‘Full steam ahead’ for Voe soft play centre after planning approval

The old Olnafirth Primary School. Photo © Google 2020

A PROPOSED soft play centre and cafe in Voe has received a boost after it received planning permission from Shetland Islands Council.

The centre would be located within the old Olnafirth Primary School, which has been vacant for a number of years.

The plans include two-level, 100 square metre climbing frame with a ball pit, as well as a separate dedicated baby and toddler area and a cafe.

Shetland Islands Council’s planning service noted that the development would provide a “community resource” and will offer a source of employment.

Behind the plans are Michael Thomason and his wife Karen, who are teaming up with Addie Manson, his wife Sarah and daughter Abigail.

“We are delighted and very excited to announce that we have been granted planning permission to go ahead with our cafe and soft play,” they said earlier this week.

“We have been busy working away over the winter doing some of the work not requiring planning. Now it will be full steam ahead to get everything done.”

It will be welcome news for children and parents alike, as Shetland is without a dedicated soft play facility.

It is unclear exactly when soft play facilities will get the go-ahead to open again in Scotland, however.

The existing coronavirus guidance shows that soft play centres can only open in areas which are placed under level zero or one restrictions.

It looks like Shetland will remain in level three until the end of April, when the isles could move down to level two.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021