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Children's play area operator expands into nursery care with help from Lupton Fawcett

Dr Sipra Deb, who set up the successful ‘Play Arena’ in Sheffield in 2011, is branching out into child care having purchased Wickersley Nursery Limited in Rotherham for an undisclosed sum.

Originally opened in 2009 by father and son Glyn and James Evans, Wickerley Nursery is registered for 52 children.

Following the purchase, Dr Deb will be making a significant investment in state of the art CCTV, the refurbishment of the play area and garden equipment, including Astroturf, and the restructuring of the rooms.

She will also be extending the childcare provision into early school and after school care, as well as holiday and breakfast clubs, with an additional three new jobs being created to add to the existing team of 20.

The Sheffield office of Lupton Fawcett advised Dr Deb on the deal, with Michele Phillips advising on the purchase of Wickersley Nursery and Julian Rowden advising on the lease.

Using the knowledge gained from running the nursery, plans are now underway to open a 79 children’s nursery next to the ‘Play Arena’ in Sheffield. With planning recently granted by Sheffield Council for the standalone building, the nursery will be operational in early 2018

Having gained a doctorate as a research scientist, Dr Deb specialised in genetic engineering for seven years prior to becoming a teacher. She then switched to the leisure sector with the opening of the Play Arena in Heeley.

Speaking about the purchase, Dr Deb, said,

“I identified a nursery as an excellent next step after the Play Arena. Rather than open one from scratch, I was looking for one that was already established with a good reputation.

“Having visited Wickersley Nursery disguised as a parent, and having conducted further research, I was impressed with what they were doing while, at the same time, identifying the opportunity to make further investment to benefit the children and parents, as well as expanding into other areas.

Commenting on the new nursery being built next to the Play Arena, she said,

“Building on the experience gained from Wickersley Nursery, it made sense to open a purpose built nursery next to my existing building as it provides the perfect synergy. I also have plans to open a Laser Quest which will create a symbiotic experience making this area of South Yorkshire more appealing as a destination for children and parents.”

Commenting on the deal, corporate director of Lupton Fawcett, Julian Rowden, said,

“Sipra has built a great reputation in South Yorkshire having won the Asian Achievement Award, as well as being the finalist in the NatWest Everywoman award and Business Person of the Year for Sheffield.

“Having seen the success of the Play Arena, I have no doubt that she will enhance and improve the offering of the nursery and build upon the success already achieved by the previous owners. Her plans for the new nursery are extremely exciting and I know she will use her new found knowledge and experience of the sector to create an excellent childcare facility.”



Photo (L to R): Dr Sipra Deb, her children Krishna and Sofia and Julian Rowden of Lupton Fawcett

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