Choosing who should officially open St Austell Leisure Centre brand new soft play centre was easy – children. And the youngsters proved they were more than up to the task, posing happily for the camera and holding the ribbon like pros.

In the back ground were GLL staff and guests. Not for them, though, fixed grins and early departures. Re-discovering their childhood selves, most had already taken off their shoes to view – and in many cases – try out the facility. Forget standing around and politely chatting. This was a chance to play and have fun. And they did.

“My excuse is I’m going to bring my grandchildren here and need to check it out for health and safety,” grinned Councillor Mike Eathorne-Gibbs, Portfolio Holder for Customers, as he gleefully slid down one of the slides for a third time. “It’s fantastic fun and anything that encourages physical activity from an early age has to be a good thing.”

Funded by GLL in partnership with Cornwall Council, the indoor play equipment includes a 4-lane Astra slide, spiral slide, integrated party rooms, a separate baby area, a ball pool and ball boggler, a glow room and interactive panels.

“It’s proving really popular already,” said Amelia Kitchen, General Manager at St Austell Leisure Centre. “The children love it and adults are very happy to sit and chat at the close-by tables, where they can enjoy refreshments and supervise in comfort.”

The soft play centre is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm at the weekend. Prices are £5 for 2-12 year olds and £2.50 for under 2s.