A NEW community soft play area will open its doors in Ilkley next month following an incredible £300,000 fundraising effort.

The team behind the church-run Dan's Den project, the new not-for-profit indoor children's soft play centre at Christchurch's Riddings Hall, is delighted to announce that it will be opening its doors to the local community on Saturday July 4.

This follows a massive fundraising effort with over £300,000 raised, plus overwhelming support for the projects from local parents and carers.

Riddings Hall on Ruiddings Road,, the new home of Dan's Den, has undergone a major transformation and the team behind the scheme says is delighted with the outcome.

The newly appointed Dan's Den centre manager, Caroline Kelly, is preparing to welcome families from across the Ilkley area to the new facilities.

She said: "Dan's Den will be a warm and welcoming place to meet and play. There will always be someone there to offer help and support should it be needed, and it will be a very welcome addition to existing play opportunities for children within Christchurch and Ilkley."

The aim of the project is to reach out to all children and their families within the local community, regardless of faith or personal circumstance, by providing a fun, clean, safe and stimulating environment in which to play and develop.

It is aimed at youngsters from babies to eight-year-olds. It consists of fixed equipment for children over two, and and moveable equipment for younger children

Visitors can expect toys and facilities for disabled children, including a sensory area.

The centre also features a café and kitchen, and a quiet area with books, puzzles and drawing equipment.

A "Helping Hand" will be available at certain times during the week to assist any parents or carers where necessary.

Dan's Den will be opening at 9.30am on Saturday July 4, and it will be open until 4pm on the day.

To mark the occasion, there will also be Dan's Den arts and crafts activities outside the church on The Grove as well as an appearance by Isabel Hogan, the Ilkley Town Crier, from midday, and the first outing of the Dan's Den friendly lion, the centre's new mascot.

A Dedication Service will be held within Riddings Hall on Sunday July 5, at 10am.

Dan's Den will be open five days a week.

Visit dansdenilkley.co.uk or their Facebook page at facebook.com/dansdenilkley for full details of the opening times and the entrance prices.