06:00PM, Friday 05 February 2021
An outdoor adventure park is looking to build a cooperative of businesses and organisations on its site to broaden its offering.
Longridge Activity Centre has been providing activities for children for more than 70 years. In ordinary times it would see 80,000 visitors a year.
The charity-run 12-acre riverside site currently offers adventures from Go Karts to kayaking.
Founder Amanda Foister said that the team has made use of the charity’s forced downtime during COVID-19 to think about how the centre can grow.
The aim, she says, is to become a community benefit society by Easter, one which caters to a wider section of the population.
“We have been almost 90 per cent for young people. I think we could be more than that,” Amanda said.
“I want us to be a place where families can come – where parents could do work on our hot desks or get a massage while their children are busy with activities.”
The aim is to create a social enterprise of multiple organisations offering different services. Longridge would like to introduce a pre-school and a play park for the under sixes.
It would also like to expand its catering options beyond its cafe – perhaps hosting a shop selling local produce, a bar, or street food cabins.
At the moment Longridge has a bunkhouse it is planning to replace with a ‘tented village’. While this is in progress, it is willing to let interested parties work inside the bunkhouse rooms at no charge.
In return, Amanda is hoping that they will help raise the £40,000 that Longridge needs to make the new accommodation by the end of February or March.
“We’re open to any ideas,” said Amanda. “We have the space and opportunity to be a real community hub for the area – this last year has taught us how much we have missed our community.”
To talk about opportunities, email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org
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