Airea 51, the UK’s newest indoor adventure park and the first of its kind in Telford, has sprung into action! At more than 30,000 square feet, the park boasts a wide range of indoor leisure activities, from trampolines to ninja warrior courses.
We catch up with founder and director, Dean McQuire, to discuss his first foray into the industry, the trampoline park potential in the UK and the crucial role equipment leasing played throughout the start-up process.
Your background is in recruitment. Why did you decide to venture into the trampoline and indoor leisure industries?
It’s an exciting time for the UK trampoline park industry, and there’s so much potential in the currently underserved market. Experts forecast a tenfold increase in UK trampoline parks over the next five years, with at least five in every major city within the next two years. We’ve also seen a surge of interest in other indoor leisure activities, like parkour and ninja warrior courses, and it seemed like the optimum time to get involved and introduce a unique facility to the market that incorporates all these activities under one roof.
As you mentioned, the UK trampoline park market is set to become more populated. How does Airea 51 stand out from competitors?
There’s no other indoor leisure facility within a 10-mile radius, and nothing quite like Airea 51 in the rest of the UK. We have a huge range of activities on offer, with trampoline courts, climbing walls, dodgeball, parkour, basketball courts and a ninja warrior course – to name just a few – so there really is something for everyone. We’re also trying to promote the healthy lifestyle beyond the activity area, and our café menu is full of balanced, healthy food options.
Johnson Reed arranged finance for the trampolines, soft play equipment and mezzanine flooring. Why did you choose leasing?
There’s so many outgoings to consider when setting up a new business, and such a significant proportion of funds can be tied up in equipment. This is a risky move during the early stages when the business hasn’t yet started trading or generating revenue. When calculating forecasts, the lease repayments showed a much more favourable ROI compared to an outright capital purchase. It was a no-brainer!
My experience with Johnson Reed has been excellent. They have been extremely helpful during the whole process, offering advice and support whenever I needed it. The whole process has been seamless and without any issues. It’s stressful setting up such a large project and cash flow is always an issue.
What does the future hold for Airea 51?
It’s early days, and for the moment we’re focusing on getting our Telford site off the ground. Looking to the future, I think Airea 51 has a real potential to expand and revolutionise the UK indoor leisure market. Watch this space!
Take a look at some of the photos from Airea 51’s launch night below.
For more information, visit airea51.co.uk