National grant boost for nursery

YOUNG children in Ipswich will soon be enjoying a new nursery thanks to a huge grant from a national organisation.The New Opportunities Fund, the biggest of the National Lottery distributors, has awarded £282,572 to Buttons and Bows Pre-School at Chantry Infant School.

YOUNG children in Ipswich will soon be enjoying a new nursery thanks to a huge grant from a national organisation.

The New Opportunities Fund, the biggest of the National Lottery distributors, has awarded £282,572 to Buttons and Bows Pre-School at Chantry Infant School.

At the moment there is high demand for the 26 places at the nursery, which is a registered charity. The grant will enable it to expand so it can offer places for 70 children under the age of eight. There will also be facilities for babies as young as three months so their parents can return to work quickly.

A new bungalow-style modular building will be built to replace the nursery's existing prefabricated facilities. There will also be a large outdoor play area with new equipment.


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As well as offering breakfast and after school clubs for children there will be a community room that can be used for adult training and health visitor drop-in sessions.

Sandie Edwards , supervisor at the nursery, said: "We are really pleased to get this award.

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"This is quite a deprived area and lots of parents do need to get back to work quickly. We can provide affordable pre-school care for their children, which is much cheaper than the private nurseries in this area. As we are a charity we are just concerned with making ends meet and not profits."

The pre-school is working in partnership with Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service on this project. Kevin Garrod , deputy chief officer of the service, said: "This gives us the opportunity to expand to meet the needs of our local community. For the first time we will be able to provide affordable locally based day-care, education and community projects for babies, children and their families in Chantry."

Margaret Cooney, the fund's east of England regional manager, said: "The reason why we have chosen to support this project is because there is a need for good quality pre-school facilities in the area.

"This is quite an exciting project in the sense that you have got a purpose built nursery that can be adapted for other uses to give maximum benefit to the community, so it represents really good value for money.

"Another reason why we have supported this project is that there is a very strong partnership between the school and the voluntary organisation."

Construction work on the new building should start in September, once the nursery is granted planning permission, and it should open on January 1, 2004.

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