Robin Hood Entertainment logo

The journey


Robin Hood Entertainment is a soft play business in Newark, operating since 2009 and taken over by its current owner, Tim Dallison, in 2021.  The business employs 3 people and was severely impacted by the pandemic.  More recently, it had also been adversely affected by the good summer and rising electricity costs.  Upon initial engagement, Tim explained that he had adjusted prices to allow for increased overheads, introduced new charges and initiatives, and that party income had come back on stream (usually 80% of sales).  At the same time, they had eliminated waste and unnecessary costs throughout the business.

Robin Hood entertainment play centre

The business enjoys a pretty captive market, with no other soft play facility in the immediate vicinity.  Since acquiring the business, Tim had installed two new party rooms and made other improvements to the premises/ offer. Tim wanted to improve their play equipment further in order to capture more business locally but unfortunately had insufficient funds to invest in the business.

Business support received

Our adviser had a detailed meeting with Tim in order to understand the firm’s drivers, pressures and opportunities.  At the time of the initial meeting, the only grant available to them was the Capital Growth Fund (CGF) as the East Midlands Accelerator (EMA) had just closed to new applications.

Tim was disappointed since the grants through the EMA were considerably higher proportionately. Our adviser explained the situation, recommending that he pursued an application for the CGF and promised to support him with this.

Shortly afterwards, the East Midlands Accelerator reopened for a limited amount of time.  Our adviser therefore contacted Tim straightaway and recommended that he prioritise an application for an EMA growth grant.  The project was to install a 3rd tier on the playframe and, at the same time, install a climbing wall.

Our adviser expertly guided Tim through all the paperwork required, checking and refining versions as the application progressed.  After this project was completed, our adviser also supported Tim to put in a separate application to the Capital Growth Fund to install LED lighting and a football pitch within the