Lancashire nursery business takes the plunge with new swim academy
A Lancashire businessman is aiming to make a splash after opening a swimming academy next to his new nursery.
Serving Blackpool firemen Simon Redwood has launched the latest phase in his business this month with Strawberry Fields Nursery and Preschool off Euxton Lane in Chorley.
The purpose built facility opened despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic affecting the availability of building materials.
Simon, who works as a firemen at South Shore station in Blackpool, said he was delighted to get the project finished and the new site was an ideal location.
Owner Simon Redwood said: "We are at the side of the Strawberry Fields Hub with our 100 child nursery and attached to the nursery is our new swim academy and cafe.
"We also have a nursery in Blackpool, Planet Kaos in Vicarage Lane, and another, PK Kids in Langton Brow, Eccleston, and we were taking the children out to other swimming schools. We had the land available, so I thought it would make more sense to build a swim school here that all the children could use.
"The swim academy has gone through the roof. We have 200 on a waiting list and we have only been open three weeks. It's really popular.
"It's a 14m by 4.5m pool, 1.2m deep, used for lessons, not recreationally. It has an automatic pool cover for safety and we have instructor there all the time when the cover is off.
"We do mother an baby session and Astley Park School just up the road use it as well twice a week.
"We are planning on introducing aquanatal and aqua aerobics in the future.
Simon who works as in the fire service in South Shore and also owns play centre Planet Kaos in Blackpool said on his days off he went with his sister and her children to play centres. He researched play centres and decided to open his own business.
"We opened Planet Kaos and we used to get people asking if we did after school clubs or child care, so we thought there was demand and built Planet Kaos nursery and Pre-school which we had been running for a couple of years and then bought the nursery in Eccleston five years ago.
"The we acquired this land on Strawberry Fields opposite the hospital and built this. It took just over 12 months to build. It was tough as we were right in the middle of the covid scenario, prices were rising. Timber went up 300 per cent, copper up 40 per cent."
The nursery in Chorley will be able accommodate 100 children with places available now and Simon's company now employs 50 people.
He said the Strawberry Fields site off Euxton Lane was huge and vibrant, with plans for a nursing home well under way another 30 units planned, plus housing, as well as the council's digital hub, and a great location for the nursery and swim school.