A former Dundee nursery building is to be transformed into a modern childcare facility that will include a community services hub within its grounds.
Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) has been granted a new licence to renovate the old Fintry Nursery on Fintry Road, which has been derelict for almost 10 years.
The facility will provide “accessible and affordable” childcare to 70 school age children from low-income families in the area. It will also include a community space, with initiatives that include a foodbank and a repair, reuse, recycle scheme.
The refurbishment of the main building is expected to start in spring next year and be completed by autumn.
The charity has also been granted funding, via the Access to Children Fund, to create a new out-of-school childcare facility for 24 children in the nursery’s grounds.
While the building renovations take place out-of-school care, which has been designed to support priority groups in the area, will primarily be delivered outdoors.
Ground prep and improvement to the garden area will start this month and the modular buildings are anticipated to be on site in January.
FCSS acquired the property for £1 in a community asset transfer which took place earlier this year.
‘Our first centre of excellence’
Lesley Tait, FCSS’s Dundee manager, said: “This is a unique space with an extensive outdoor area in a built-up community.
“The funding will allow us to create a modular satellite building in the garden for out-of school care.
“Children are becoming more disconnected with the natural world, and this funding will support us to create an environment for them to delve unhindered into nature.
“We will resource and introduce tools for imaginative play; loose parts, cooking outside, fire pits, and den making. This is an experience that many of the children will not have had access to previously.”
Susan McGhee, Chief Executive at FCSS, said: “We are delighted to receive the licence from Dundee City Council, it means that we are one step closer to creating our first centre of excellence; a community hub with childcare at the core with a range of family and community services led by local people.”
Councillor Mark Flynn, Convener of Dundee City Council’s City Development, said: “The development plans for the building are very impressive. FCSS will look to effectively modernise the old nursery site and make the most of the available space.
“It’s great to see FCSS’ plans for the building and for a community-based cause.”
The Access to Childcare Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Children in Scotland.
Children in Scotland Chief Executive, Jackie Brock, said: “We’re very pleased that FCSS will be able to use this funding to support out-of-school care for families.
“We look forward to FCSS using this support to deliver childcare that’s high quality, accessible, innovative and reflective of their real commitment to children and families in the local community.”
FCSS is a national charity that was created after it was found that parents were unable to accept offers of employment due to a lack of high quality, flexible, and accessible childcare services.