Tiny Town aims to make a big impression in Newport
An independent play and learning centre is aiming to make a big impression in Newport after setting up home in The Old Ballroom.
Tiny Town is an indoor child-sized town and cafe which has opened its doors after receiving a business start-up grant through Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Our High Street programme.
Directors Emily and Leighton Brown have launched the new business which features a variety of role play locations for children to explore - encouraging independent play and allowing children to learn, develop their communication skills and have fun at the same time.
Tiny Town is a safe and secure environment which features small, accessible buildings including a hospital, a bakery, a hairdressers, a supermarket, a vets and much more.
Each little building gives children the chance to step into a new role, focus on using a higher level of language and develop their social skills.
There is also a cafe and baby area at the venue, based at 1A, Stafford Street, which will serve a range of healthy options and light refreshments.
Emily and Leighton are delighted that their plans for this new business venture have come to fruition with crucial support from the high street funding.
Emily said: “We want to make Tiny Town a part of the Newport community and give children a learning experience to develop their language and social skills, as well as bring more footfall to the streets of Newport.
“A soft play area is a place where children play independently and focus on physical development but this role play centre will give children an opportunity to learn alongside their parent or carer.
“Due to the lockdowns we have seen over the past few years, the number of five and six year olds who need speech and language support at school has risen by 10%.
“Pretend play is critical for developing oral language and researchers have discovered that children who engaged in pretend play often used higher forms of language than they would use in normal situations.
“Hopefully this new facility we are offering will make a positive difference to the way youngsters communicate. We’re very grateful for the business start-up grant we’ve received to help make this happen.”
The centre will be open for three sessions a day, seven days a week, starting at 9.30am, 11.30am and 1.30pm and they last for 90 minutes each and cater for up to 20 children.
You can book your place at Tiny Town sessions here: www.tinytownnewport.co.uk
Pride in Our high street business start-up grants provide funding to help businesses open in empty retails units on the high streets in Dawley, Madeley, Ironbridge, Oakengates, Wellington and Newport.
The grant is used to support business set-up costs such as building refurbishment, fixtures and fittings, utility connection costs and marketing and branding.
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for place (the economy & neighbourhood services), said: "There are a range of indoor children’s entertainment venues in Telford and Wrekin but this indoor child-friendly town is unique and we’re sure that Tiny Town will be well received by the local and wider community.
“We’re pleased to support Tiny Town with a business start-up grant to help the business set-up and establish itself in a prime location in Newport.
“Tiny Town opening means The Old Ballroom is now occupied after standing empty for two years – so this is all part of our commitment to bring empty units back into use and make our high streets vibrant and attractive places to visit.”
You can find out more about the Pride in Our High Street programme and support which is available for businesses here.
Photo: Tiny Town directors Emily and Leighton Brown at their new premises.