Hartlepool children's centre welcomes families back as it reopens after six-month lockdown
Young children can lose themselves in their imagination again as a role play centre has opened for business again.
Imagination Village on the Usworth Road estate, in Hartlepool, welcomed youngsters and parents back on Monday for the first time in six months.
It followed the latest easing of lockdown measures by the Government which also saw pubs, restaurants, museums, cinemas and bingo halls allowed to reopen.
The business, founded by Claire Hoey, 36, and employing six people, has been forced to shut for most of the last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Established in 2019, Imagination Village is a stimulating role play area in which young children can explore, play and learn in a model village.
It features a variety of play areas such as a mini mart, vets, fire station and school. There is even a miniature theatre where children can perform.
Claire said: “We’re excited to reopen. It has been very tough because we were just establishing ourselves when we had to close.
"Luckily, we’ve managed to keep all our staff. Families are keen to get back because they have missed out so much during lockdown.
"Children haven’t been able to go anywhere and it’s a chance to socialise.”
The centre, which also has a cafe, runs three sessions a day and are booked up for their first week.
It is also restarting extra activities including arts and crafts, story times and song times.
For their opening day they had a balloon arch to welcome people back and gave away free sweet cones made by The Sweet Hut.