Falkirk nursery to be demolished

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Children in Woodburn Day Nursery in Falkirk will move out to allow the old building to be demolished, making way for a brand new facility.

Most of the children who currently attend the day nursery in Montgomery Street will be decanted to Queen Street nursery, near the retail park,  by the October school holiday to allow the new nursery to take shape, members of the Education, Children and Young People’s executive were told.

They also heard the design and specifications have been agreed and the tendering process for the work to be done is now underway.

The decision to decant the children is just part of the massive expansion of early years education that is due to be completed in Falkirk by next August.

The Scottish Government-funded project will mean 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare will be provided annually through Falkirk Council establishments, private partner nurseries and child-minders

With the opening of Kinnaird’s new nursery in August and Bonnybridge early years centre this month, the Falkirk area now offers 1140 early years education in 24 of its education establishments.

Gary Greenhorn, Falkirk Council’s head of planning for children’s services, said: “It is a very fast moving situation – the report says 23 but since that was written Bonnybridge has opened,”

The new Kinnaird nursery, which can accommodate 200 children – 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon – came in £500,000 over budget.

This was due in part to the nursery having originally been designed to deliver 600 hours of care rather than 1140, leading to a redesign.

Other practical problems included fuel contamination that was found in the grounds, which had to be dealt with at a cost of nearly £200,000; additional ground stablisation work and adaptions to a gas membrane, all of which led to the increase in cost.

Labour’s Allan Nimmo questioned whether the survey had been good enough but was told this was not uncommon and there was no fault in the report. The cash would be found from the early years expansion funds.