Five-year-old Audrina Hatton-Wright, who has diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in June 2018, was guest of honour at the Injoy Centre, in the Riverside Complex, alongside the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Frank Harwood.
Audrina has spent 18 months undergoing intensive treatment for the disease, which affects just one in 10 million people, and shot to fame when she was welcomed into the Derby County changing rooms by Manager Frank Lampard.
On Sunday, she cut the ribbon at Injoy Centre and declared the two-storey centre officially open before trying out the soft play area, one of the largest in the UK, for herself.
Injoy also offers a climbing zone, run by trained instructors, which features challenges for both children and adults, including a 6m-high vertical slide and a Stairway to Heaven climb.
The showstopper, though, is the interactive room – an innovative and immersive experience which allows visitors to dig for digital creatures in kinetic sand, kick footballs at passing spaceships and watch their own artwork spring to life on the walls around them.
Councillor Frank Harwood said: “Injoy is a wonderful addition to Derby’s many attractions, which will attract many families, especially with it’s ideal location next to the bus station and the Intu centre.
“Parents can remain close to their children which is great and the little ones can be nice and active which is essential at a young age. I would like to wish the venture sincere best wishes for the future, and it has been my pleasure to declare the Injoy Centre officially open.”
Injoy also has dedicated rooms for art workshops and cookery classes, three party rooms for birthdays and group celebrations, as well as the opportunity for children to makes their own pizzas at specially designed low-level counters in the restaurant area.
Parents and carers can relax in the restaurant, which includes a fully licensed bar and free wifi as well as a range of high-quality food including fresh pizzas made from scratch on site.
The 16,000 sq ft centre also has a lift, pram storage and free lockers for coats and shoes, while the 30 new members of staff are all trained in first aid.
Richard Chandler, Manager of Injoy Centre Derby, said: “We have received fantastic comments from our early visitors and now we are officially open we are looking forward to welcoming the people of Derby to see Injoy for themselves.
“We offer activities which are suitable for children of various ages and have something for teenagers, students and children all under one roof with a licensed bar and great food for mums and dads too.
“The interactive room is fantastic for children with special educational needs or those who benefit from sensory stimulation and it brings out the child in every visitor. We’ve seen parents enjoying it just as much as their children.
“We have placed a genuine emphasis on quality, creating an environment the whole family can enjoy together.”
Next year Laser Tag will be introduced into the centre and an outside terrace overlooking the river Derwent will be created in time for the summer months.
There are a variety of packages available depending on chosen activities and the number and ages of participating children, starting at £3 for two hours soft play for a child aged under three.