An award-winning Edinburgh-based business that designs and installs children’s play parks across the UK is targeting new growth with support from Clydesdale Bank.
Jupiter Play & Leisure Ltd, which also has premises in Nottingham, has received a funding package of £316,000 from Clydesdale Bank. The deal was facilitated by Chris Mitchell, business development manager at the Bank’s Regional Business and Private Banking Centre in Edinburgh.
The finance will enable the business to invest in a series of expansion initiatives, including new product lines and developing new markets.
Founded in 1999, Jupiter Play & Leisure designs and installs children’s play spaces in parks, schools, housing developments, leisure facilities and tourist attractions across the UK and increasingly in Europe.
Projects recently completed by the firm include a natural play area within Strathclyde Park that was designed to complement its woodland surroundings and a new playground at Prestonpans Infant School, East Lothian that encourages activity, imaginative play and creativity.
Work carried out south of the Border this year includes a castle-themed wheelchair accessible play area in Hylands Park, on the outskirts of Chelmsford, Essex. The bespoke castle unit was designed and built to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and offers a wide variety of play experiences for users of all abilities.
The firm has won several design awards, while a number of the firm’s sites have been recognised by the Nancy Ovens Trust, which promotes quality play spaces for children.
In recent years, the business has grown to incorporate Inclusive Play (UK) Ltd, and its export arm Inclusive Play Ltd, to design, manufacture and install play parks for children with physical and learning disabilities. This year, the group also established Jupiter Urban Sports Ltd to deliver and design a range of skate facilities. The new division is one of the fastest-growing businesses under the Jupiter umbrella.
The group employs 20 staff, including a fully qualified landscape architect and an experienced play designer, and turnover across the business is expected to reach £4m this year.
Paul Hoenigmann, Jupiter Play & Leisure’s managing director, said: “Like many other companies we endured tough times during the economic slowdown, but we have bounced back to enjoy extraordinary growth over the last few years. We’re currently on track to record a turnover of £4m this year, compared with £1.5m in 2010.
“Despite our success, our previous banking partners were not willing to support our next stage of growth. Fortunately, Clydesdale Bank wanted to help and understand our business, and we now have the facilities we require to attain our goals.
“We’ve also been impressed the Bank’s proactive approach to providing business and learning opportunities. Since becoming customers, we’ve benefited from social media training that will allow us to market ourselves more effectively, attended a variety of networking events, and we’ve even used its facilities for a staff meeting.
“It’s been a pleasant surprise to discover how much help is available. Our previous banking partners didn’t ever offer any such services.”
John Brebner, head of Clydesdale Bank’s Regional Business and Private Banking Centre in Edinburgh, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jupiter Play & Leisure Ltd to Clydesdale Bank. Its expertise in creating stimulating leisure and play areas supports the healthy development of children across the UK.
“Following a strong performance over the last three years, the business is ready to embark on a new phase of growth. We look forward to helping it achieve its growth aspirations and working in partnership with the group as it continues to expand.”