New £1m nursery provision in Oldham given green light

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 23 September 2021

Town hall bosses have agreed to invest £1 million in creating new nursery provision at an Oldham primary school.

Members of the cabinet have agreed to fund the development of a 30-place nursery class at Fir Bank Primary School in Royton.

The funding will allow the building of a new extension to the Grasmere Road school to meet demand for pre-school places.

Fir Bank primary is run by the Oak Trust – a multi academy trust which also runs North Chadderton School and Thorp Primary School, also in Royton.

The trust had submitted a proposal to the council to establish a new nursery class at Fir Bank which would take on children as young as three-years-old.

The investment from the council for the project comes from the basic needs funding pot, which is distributed by government.

Cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Eddie Moores said: “Council officers have worked with the Oak Trust on this important proposal which will provide much needed provision for children and families.

“And it will also allow the council to fulfil its statutory obligation in regard to nursery provision.”

According to the cabinet documents, the council’s cost consultant has confirmed a budget estimate of £1.089m.

The money will be given to the trust in grant form, who will then procure its own design and build team to deliver the scheme.

However the council will be able to oversee the project, and sit on the project board to ensure that the grant is ‘expended appropriately’.

The report adds: “The Oak Trust’s vision is to provide year-round childcare and extended days through before and after school provision.

“There is need for flexible provision to meet the needs of working parents.

“Uptake data shows that 66% of children attending the nursery are accessing the extended 30 hours entitlement. It will also support parents to take-up training, maintain or return to employment in the local economy.”

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