NEWTON Abbot is set to boast 'the largest indoor children’s play area of its kind anywhere in the country outside of London', the Mid-Devon Advertiser can reveal.

When iTown Newton Abbot opens its doors in August at the site of the town's former Argos store, it will offer a range of themed rooms in which children can imagine themselves on the farm, in a hospital or construction zone, police station and many other locations besides.

With props on hand and costumes for dressing up, all the activities for 1one to seven-year-olds will link to the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage.

School and nursery visits will be encouraged, as will booked family sessions and private parties.

The venue for iTown Newton Abbot is the former store in Queen Street where construction work is well under way.

Director Rhys Heavens, who helped to create the popular iBounce trampoline centres in Newton Abbot and Exeter, can’t wait to welcome his first guests.

‘We want iTown Newton Abbot to be simply the best and largest creative role play centre anywhere in the country outside of London,’ he said.

‘This will be a destination venue for families across the south west and help to enhance Newton Abbot’s enviable reputation as a town that is more than keeping up with the challenges presented by online shopping.

‘We have worked with education specialists and designers at the top of their games to create an indoor world of magic where the only limitations are children’s imaginations.

‘We also want iTown Newton Abbot to be affordable, we’re aiming to become carbon-neutral and we’ve employed as many local contractors as we can.

‘Our cafe will offer good value, nutritious food and drink, as well as a yummy treat or two, and we look forward to becoming an integral part of the Newton Abbot community.’

Town Development Manager Sally Henley said: ‘What fantastic news for Newton Abbot, I’m incredibly excited by Rhys’ plans.

‘He is transforming a tatty unused building into a creative play zone, the likes of which just don’t exist in the region.

‘iTown Newton Abbot will be much larger than anything similar so what a feather in our cap, I wish Rhys and his team every success.

‘As I’ve said before, Newton Abbot is streets ahead of the web!’