A bid is being made to create the ‘biggest ever JCB Young Drivers Zone,’ an American diner and elevated ‘Hobbit Village’ at Springfields shopping centre, Spalding.
Up to 40 new jobs will be created if the new £1 million family entertainment centre is approved by planners.
An application has been submitted to South Holland District Council by owners of Springfields Outlet Shopping and Festival Gardens, UBS Tritton Property Fund.
At its heart, the new development would host the biggest ever JCB Young Driver Zone, an attraction which includes a large track for pedal diggers, huge JCB slide, scaffold themed climbing frame and other interactive play equipment. The JCB zone recreates a miniature village and construction site and will contain everything from the health and safety briefing classroom to a large track and building site where children can experience both fun and educational play.
Under the proposals the former Play Barn would become the entrance to the area and an American diner with party rooms upstairs.
It would also encompass and see refurbishment to the mini golf area, remote control boat pond and the miniature railway, which would gain a station. The site would be surrounded by a 1m high fence.
A supporting document said: “JCB have commented recently on this new opportunity as follows ‘we are hugely excited by the plans for our biggest ever JCB Young Drivers Zone at Springfields.”
The application added: “The concept being proposed is a unique family entertainment offer with only a limited number of franchises available throughout the UK.
“The JCB brand is well known and has quite a strong appeal in the regions where the Junior Drivers Club concept has already been developed. It will be a unique offer within the county and provides an opportunity to establish a popular leisure destination in Spalding that has a broad family appeal spanning several age groups and sits comfortably with the retail outlet offer.”
Part of the proposal is a: “High Top Hobbit village comprising a series of timber based tower features with interconnecting walkways and netting suspended above the ground. Outside the hobbit village would be the ‘Panning for Gold’ activity which includes a sheltered area with troughs underneath that are filled with water and grit sand and ‘treasure’.”
The site would also include an infant sand and water undercover area, with paddling pools.
The application said: “Taken together it will provide a vibrant and attractive tourist destination for visitors to Spalding and the wider Lincolnshire area.”
The application said Springfields attracts 2.3 million people per year and 500 people work there.
Play Barn indoor soft play centre closed in 2015. The building is currently a cafe and toy shop. A Springfields spokesman said that had always been temporary.
Ian Sanderson of SLR Outlets said: “We are proposing really exciting changes to the leisure offer at Springfields which will help us to strengthen our position as Lincolnshire’s leading outlet centre. Getting JCB on board is a major coup for the area, in the face of increasing competition elsewhere.”