A CHILDREN’S nursery in Whitnash has moved into a home of its own for the first time after almost 25 years since it was founded.
Little Willows was established in 1998 at Whitnash Primary School offering morning sessions to 13 pre-school children.
But now the nursery – which currently offers breakfast and after-school clubs to 62 youngsters and is run as a charitable trust – is moving to the former Whitnash Library in the town.
The move is part of a drive to ensure that properties which are owned by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) are not only fully let, but can, where possible, benefit their communities.
WCC last year established the Warwickshire Property Development Group (WPDG) to realise the potential of its development sites, commercial buildings and mineral rights in as sustainable way as possible.
The deal to give Little Willows its new home is the first letting agreed by WPDG and comes after the creation of a new of a new civic centre hub which houses a multi-use sports hall, library and café.
Stacey Coulter of Little Willows, said: “This is such a great move for us and for our children. The school has been a really good home for us over the years, but it is the right time now to move into premises and the library is perfect.
“The added room will allow us to create a sensory space which will be really valuable for children for special needs, and we will have dedicated meeting rooms where we can talk in private to parents and health professionals. There will also be a new staff meeting room.
“The new centre is right at the heart of our community and will give us a very visible presence.”
WPDG is tasked with realising the potential of regeneration opportunities – including the provision of affordable local housing and units for local businesses – on WCCowned sites and as managing the council’s commercial property assets.
It is part of a broader £300m package of investment alongside the Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund (WRIF) which WCC has launched to revitalise the local economy.
WCC deputy leader Coun Peter Butlin said Little Willows was an ideal first letting for the organisation.
He added: “This deal sees a former community asset brought back into economic vitality, it provides a home for a well loved and valuable local resource, and brings in much needed funds for the council.