BBC opens first Night Garden edutainment centre in Shanghai

Ladder-developed centre extends pre-school brand further in China.
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BBC Worldwide has opened the doors of its first In the Night Garden 'edutainment' centre in Shanghai, China.

The centre, developed by licensee Ladder, aims to provide a place for children to play in an educational environment, featuring the characters from the hit Ragdoll show.

In the Night Garden launched on China's state broadcaster CCTV in May 2009. BBC Worldwide has also been working with UYoung Media Group on a licensing programme which includes a magazine, toys and stationery. DVDs have been released through Excel Media, while Children's Fun has rolled out over 30 book titles.

Ladder manages 250 similar centres across Greater China and will operate a further Night Garden centre in Hangzhou and a third in Shanghai by the end of the summer.

A further two are also planned to launch by the end of the year.

The centre concept follows the successful launch of nine Teletubbies edutainment outlets across China.

"The pre-school environment is considered to be one of the most important aspects in a child's development in China," said Mr Yen Shawn Wu, president of Ladder. "All the activity that we undertake is about providing a safe and educational environment to encourage children's development."

BBC Worldwide's Stephen Davies added: "The launch of this new centre is an exciting moment for us - taking great quality children's programmes and their licensing extensions around the world for children to enjoy, and reinvesting profits back into the BBC for great programming."

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