A play centre says it is “desperate” for financial support after losing out on hundreds of thousands of pounds because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Parents’ Paradise Play Centre in Bushey says it is down more than £300,000 in gross turnover compared to last year because of the pandemic, which forced businesses in the UK to close at the end of March.

The venue is now looking for financial assistance as it looks to reopen in the near future, with the centre not eligible to receive a grant from a government funding pot.

Grants have been given out to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to help with their costs during the lockdown, if the premises has a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000.

But Lyn Presence, who runs the play centre with sister Wendy, says it has a “far higher” rateable value - £85,000 - as it is based in a large building.

Mrs Presence said that the venue "now needs some financial support", with the business set to see a further "significant loss".

She said: "I think there is no doubt there will be a long term impact on our business, as we are all much more wary of heavily populated environments such as soft play centres.

"We anticipate this will result in a significant loss of revenue for a business which already operates on low margins."

The play centre has received a 'bounce back loan' from the Government, which enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

"But of course this is a loan and needs to be repaid," Mrs Presence said.

"Our landlord has thankfully permitted us to take a three month payment holiday, but this will also need to be paid back eventually.

"We are desperate for some financial support as we do not qualify for any of the grants available."

Recently indoor children's play area Gambado in Watford announced it was closing permanently after the coronavirus lockdown, although Mrs Presence said "we are doing all we can to reopen".

Mrs Presence plans to reopen the play centre in September, but hopes that it may be able to open in late August "to make the most of the last of the school holidays".

"We are also looking at the possibility of ‘bring your bubble to Parents Paradise’ private hires," she said.

"Our USP has always been cleanliness and hygiene, and in readiness for our anticipated reopening we are busy reviewing our risk assessments and putting protocols in place to keep our customers safe.

"We are also looking at implementing timed online pre booked play slots with time in-between each slot for us to carry out a sanitising clean of the play frames."