Scottish Play Centre Recognised as One of Best in the UK

by Scott Douglas

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Edinburgh Evening News

Read the full story on:

Evening News: http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/education/Centre-food-fit-for-a.4574536.jp

AN INNOVATIVE play centre has been recognised as one of the best in the UK, with an honour for its healthy-eating menu.

Ancient Egyptian-themed TimeTwisters has been a huge hit with Scots kids and parents, since opening in July 2006.

Now it has also been recognised by the national body which is dedicated to raising standards in the play sector.

The Edinburgh-based venue earned two prestigious nominations in the inaugural Play Providers Association (PPA) Aspire Awards.

Delighted parents Andy and Shirley Hixon, who put everything they own on the line to realise their dream of opening TimeTwisters, collected a Bronze Award in the food and beverage category.

Andy Hixon

Andy, of Silverknowes, Edinburgh, said “To have been recognised by the PPA for the quality of the facility we have created is a real accolade.

“From the outset our intention was to create a centre that is the best locally and sets a new standard in the UK. For a young centre like ours to be the only one in Scotland to make it to the shortlist shows we are heading the right way.

“Winning the Bronze award was a real honour and it’s a great recognition of the quality and variety of the food we offer.”

The Hixons remortgaged their home to finance the play centre, a high-quality, multi-level Indiana Jones-style adventure centre, with the best equipment sourced from all over the world and breathtakingly authentic decor.

While the eye catching equipment is a hit with children, parents are equally impressed with the healthy food and drink on offer. Two full-time trained chefs use the finest quality ingredients and each meal is prepared on request.

Andy said: “We have two kids of our own and know all too well what kind of food and drink is on offer at play centres. We don’t stock lots of sweets, chocolate, crisps and fizzy juice and that’s something most visitors really appreciate.”

Most items on the menu are made from scratch using fresh ingredients, including a range of pasta dishes, chilli, and wraps, as well as the centre’s signature Pharaoh Burger.

The commitment to quality food has already seen TimeTwisters awarded the Healthy Living Award from the Scottish Consumer Council, as well as a prestigious four-star visitor rating from VisitScotland.

At last week’s PPA awards, TimeTwisters was also the only Scottish venue to be shortlisted for Best Indoor Centre Under 12,000 sq ft – only narrowly missing out on an award.

Andy added: “We would have loved to have come home with an award in that category as well, but we’re not too disappointed – it gives us something to aim for next year.”
The PPA Aspire Awards were set up to reward the very best play centres in the country – Finalist centres can rightly claim to be among the very top centres in the UK.

Kate Costin, PPA Association Manager added: “Indoor play centres like TimeTwisters are a fantastic way for children to play in a safe and secure environment.

“The benefits of play in a child’s development both physically, socially and emotionally have been widely proved but unlike other activities, children don’t even realise the benefit to their health.

“Exercise in disguise is the phrase coined by the PPA to describe this effect. “

The Hixons also designed TimeTwisters to have a strong educational theme, linked to key subjects in the national curriculum for primary schools. As well as play days, TimeTwisters also hosts birthday parties and other functions as well as Egyptian-themed events for schools and nurseries.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of TimeTwisters by Holyrood Partnership. Contact Suzanne Mackie on (0131) 561 2244 or [email protected].

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