£2.4m nursery expansion complete
THERE is gold at the end of the rainbow in Port Glasgow following the completion of a £2.4 million nursery extension.
Rainbow Family Centre has been transformed with the addition of a brand new wing in time for the return of staff and young people next week after the summer holidays.
The work was carried out by contractors CCG (Scotland) on behalf of Inverclyde Council and the local authority’s development partners, hub West Scotland.
The extension features a new main entrance, staff and meeting area, playroom and an outdoor learning space.
It will increase capacity at the early learning centre by 64 to support the council’s doubling of early years provision to 1,140 hours per eligible child annually – a policy which was implemented 12 months ahead of schedule.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, depute leader of Inverclyde Council and convener of education and communities, said: “The extension looks magnificent and really enhances what is already an excellent early years establishment here in Port Glasgow.
“It’s another welcome addition to our first-class schools and nurseries estate, which is among the best in the UK.
“The extra space will support our staff in delivering a high-quality early years education to even more local children and young people ensuring the best possible start to their learning journey.”
Staff are now looking forward to seeing their pupils make the most of the new indoor and outdoor space.
Sonia McKay, acting head of centre at Rainbow, said: “We’re so excited to welcome everyone back to the new-look Rainbow Family Centre, especially our children who will benefit so much from the extra space to play and learn.
“The extension will also be beneficial for our staff to support them with continuing to deliver high-quality flexible, early learning for the Park Farm and upper Port Glasgow community.”
The new wing has been being built in the nursery’s car park and connected to the existing building.
The car park has been relocated to the site of the neighbouring former Park Farm Community Hall, which was demolished.
Iain Marley, chief executive of hub West Scotland, said: “We are delighted to continue our fantastic relationship with Inverclyde Council. The extension to the Rainbow Centre forms part of an investment to create two outstanding early learning and childcare facilities. These assets provide high quality learning environments that will play a key role in children’s future development.
“The pandemic has made it a tough year so we are doubly grateful to the Inverclyde Council team and our fantastic supply chain partners have worked together to overcome exceptional challenges. The existing centre remained open during the building work and our thanks go to CCG (Scotland) Limited and the Inverclyde community for their collaboration, flexibility and commitment to deliver such a high quality facility.”
The building was recently handed over to the council upon the completion of construction work, which began in September following a short delay caused by the pandemic.
David Wylie, CCG managing director, said: “The Rainbow Family Centre extension is a valuable addition to a well-utilised community asset.
“CCG, alongside our partners hub West, have had the privilege of supporting Inverclyde Council’s ambitious education investment programme for a number of years now with Rainbow now being the fourth project in as many years to have been completed across the regional area.
“We commend the council for their efforts in supporting early learning and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Inverclyde Council introduced the national 1140 hours policy in August 2020 as originally planned despite the expansion being delayed by 12 months to August 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rainbow extension has been built in tandem with the £2.9m new-build Larkfield Early Learning Centre in Greenock, which is also being delivered by CCG and hub West and is due for completion next month.
Both developments have been designed by architects Holmes Miller.