A new soft play area and cafe has opened up in Braunton.

Quay Cafe and Soft Play at Velator opened its doors to families for the first time on Friday.

The idea first came about 12 months ago, when business partners Angus Thomson and Darren Chadwick put in planning permission for the building.

They initially applied for multi-use to include retail, a cafe, a play area and office space.

After obtaining permission from North Devon Council, they put a survey out asking people in Braunton what they wanted in the building – and now the new soft play area has opened.

Quay Cafe and Soft Play opened in Braunton on Friday.Quay Cafe and Soft Play opened in Braunton on Friday.

The main cafe next door, which will serve locally-sourced food and organic, Fair Trade coffee, is not yet open, but the smaller cafe within the play area is open for food and drinks.

The facility has opened next to the village’s Saltrock store – the business Angus founded in 1988 from a bedroom in Penzance.

In August the clothing and accessories business was sold to Crew Clothing, and Angus decided he wanted a new business venture.

“I came out of Saltrock and because I owned the building, I partnered up with Darren, who has got a lot of experience running cafes, and we did extensive market research into what the community wanted,” he told the Gazette.

“People wanted a soft play area and they also wanted something they could walk or cycle to.

“We secured Leader 5 funding about six months ago, and we used all local traders to construct the play area.

“We kept the whole soft play design to a nautical theme, and it’s built from wood so it’s environmentally friendly.

“The cafe will be plastic-free and with this being on the entrance to the Biosphere, we want to make sure we reflect that too with the cafe design.”

As well as a 100-capacity soft play are and the soon-to-open cafe, there is also a party room and the facility can be hired out too.

It is hoped the cafe, when open, will also run pop-up events, and has created around 20 new jobs.

“It’s been lovely to see children come in and really enjoy it,” added Angus.

The soft play area can be found at Unit 4, Velator, and is open today-Dec 30, 9am-6pm; December 31, 9am-4pm; January 1, 11am-4pm. After that it will be open seven days a week, 9am-6pm.