New £2 million Early Learning Centre all ready for August school start

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Left to right: William McKay, Moray Council Architect; Bev Ashworth, Moray Council Nursery Manager; Dawn Marshall, Morrison Construction Site Manager; Robin Paterson, Senior Project Manager ELC Expansion.

A new £2 million Early Learning Centre at Pilmuir has been officially handed over to the local authority by the main contractor ready for the start of term in August.

Built by Morrison Construction, the centre signals a significant investment in the Forres area as part of the Scottish Government’s extension of funded Early Learning Centres (ELC).

Pilmuir Nursery will provide 1,140 hours of funded ELC for all three- and four-year-olds, and eligible twos.

Following the handover of the building, senior project manager for the ELC Expansion at Moray Council, Robin Paterson, said: “It’s exciting for us to have the new nursery ready for the start of term in August. We’ll have a number of children re-joining us who have seen the construction progressing over the last two years as well as our new intake.

“We look forward to them exploring the light, airy and spacious building that has been fantastically designed for a modern ELC offering. Incorporating the outdoor learning space makes this an even more exciting learning environment and the staff team here will be ready with a warm welcome for the children to help them settle into their new nursery.”

Site manager Dawn Marshall said: “Often our local authority projects are schools so it has been a very positive experience being involved in a new build for early years.”

Pilmuir Nursery manager Bev Ashworth added: “Morrison Construction has been wonderful to work with and helped us involve the children at each stage of the construction of the new nursery. After the Covid-19 lockdown experience we’re very excited to be re-opening in August with a brand new nursery.”

The 1,140 hours of ELC equates to around 30 hours of funded ELC during term-time. However, the newest nursery building in Forres will operate all year round, giving parents and carers more opportunities to work, train or study. The new building can accommodate up to 72 children and creatively utilises the outdoor space available.

The building will be available for community use in the evenings once the Covid-19 threat has passed.

Marc Hindley
Author: Marc Hindley

Marc has worked as journalist and photographer all over Scotland. He also runs a PR and digital marketing agency Canary Dwarf. He has lived in Forres with his wife and three children since 2001.