Financial steps taken to help Thornbury nursery finish building project

September 29 2017

A CASH shortfall of £183,000 is being met by South Gloucestershire Council so work on a new building for a Thornbury nursery can be completed.

A CASH shortfall of £183,000 is being met by South Gloucestershire Council so work on a new building for a Thornbury nursery can be completed.

First Step Pre-school operates at two locations in the town and is having a new building constructed at its Crossways schools site, which will allow it to offer more spaces to local children.

But although it received funding from the Department for Education (DfE) and had started the building work, unexpected costs meant the project stalled and the unfinished premises could not be used.

The nursery operators approached the council for help and a proposed financial package was agreed.

The council’s investment will see it take over management of the building contract while the building itself, once finished, will be owned by the authority.

A larger-than-expected grant to the council from the DfE that can be used for such capital building projects has provided the funding.

Toby Savage, the council’s Cabinet member for schools, skills and employment, said the nursery provider was popular in the Thornbury area and with children waiting for places, the council was keen to see the project completed.

He said “I am pleased that First Step had already received £225,000 from the DfE and work on the new nursery had already started.

“However, although it had raised funds for the work itself, it had been unable to find all the money needed to finish the building.

“As a council we have a duty to ensure there are adequate nursery places available and any delay in completing this nursery could have an impact on places in Thornbury.

“We are in the fortunate position of having additional funds available now that will allow us to support this project without taking away from any other schools building work.”

In a newsletter to parents, the First Step committee said once the building was open, it would be able to offer up to an extra 21 full-time places.