ALMOST 1,000 children have already put a new £100,000 attraction to the test in its first fortnight.
The soft play area has been set up inside Sunderland’s Aquatic Centre as part of efforts to welcome tots to the sports complex from a young age, and to bring in families.
The enclosure features a ball pool, slides, rope bridges, a climbing frame and crawl tubes over a series of levels and has been set up in the reception area.
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland Council’s cabinet member for health, wellness and culture, said: “We’ve found the feedback really positive and people have welcomed it because it has coincided with half-term.
“We’ve already had about 1,000 children through, which is really good.
“The kids really seem to enjoy it.”
The soft play design includes seating for parents to supervise their children.
It is hoped their interest is sparked in other activities at the centre, including exercise classes and swimming.
The council says the soft play area will give them somewhere to let off steam, develop physical, social, mental and emotional skills and help people meet other families.
The area can be booked out for parties.
It is open from 9am to 7pm every day, and is free to those aged under 12 months.
For one to three-year-olds who are not members it is £3.90, £3.15 for non-concessions and £2 for concessions, and for four to eight-year-olds entry is £5.20 for non-members, £4.15 for non-concessions and £2.70 for concessions.
Young people living in Sunderland are entitled to a free Life Card, which offers members reduced rates.
Each session lasts an hour.
More more details, the centre can be contacted on 561 6161. Twitter: @EchoEastDurham