More free nursery places as community hall gets permission to extend

6:00am Thursday 22nd May 2014

By Chris Young

Extra nursery places for two-year-olds will be on offer in Great Horton after plans for a nursery were given the go-ahead by Bradford Council.

The new building at Great Horton Village Hall is due to open in September now that planning permission has been granted.

It will provide 48 much-needed nursery places at the community building in Beldon Road.

The single-storey extension will be funded by the ‘2 Year Old Offer’ programme, which is a combination of funding from the Government’s Education Funding Agency and Bradford Council.

The Government is pushing for local authorities to provide free nursery spaces for all two-year-olds from families eligible for free school meals as a way of improving achievement when the children move to primary school.

The Council has been creating new nursery buildings at a number of schools across the district as it faces a shortfall of available places.

The lead councillor for children’s services believes providing a nursery at a community centre is a “creative” response to finding extra places in low-income areas.

Last year the local library in Great Horton moved into the village hall and the centre hosts numerous community events.

A council spokesman said: “The application was for a new extension at Great Horton Village Hall. The extension will provide extra places for two-year-old children.

“There will be places for 48 children across the day including associated welfare and play areas. It will be ready for September.

“Designs have been finalised and planning consent successfully achieved. Tenders for the construction contract are due back to the Authority on June 4.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, the cabinet member for children’s services on Bradford Council, said: “This is a very creative response to meeting the needs of two-year-olds in the area. The village hall is right in the heart of the community as there is also a library there. It will be like a hub for the area.”

Plans for the new building attracted no objections, with planning officers saying it was not likely to cause any significant noise or disturbance.

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