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Building a future
THE future of an outstanding-rated playgroup has been secured after £80,000 was raised to replace its dilapidated building.
Minster Lovell Playgroup had faced a race against time to replace its temporary building, in the grounds of St Kenelm’s Primary School, before it was no longer fit for purpose.
It only had about a year left of use and if cash for a replacement building was not found the playgroup would have had to close.
But now Minster Lovell Parish Council has granted £10,000 so the project can go ahead. The building will be ready by September.
Ofsted visited the playgroup in 2009 and gave it an “outstanding” rating.
Playgroup manager Vicki Wright said: “The building is reaching the end of its life. We bought it second-hand 20 years ago and it is now dilapidated.
“It is safe and fit for purpose, but there are holes in the side of the building and we are concerned it might not make it through another winter.
“We were thinking if we did not get a building that was fit for purpose we might not have been able to carry on.”
She added: “We are delighted it’s going ahead. We’re excited about it and excited for the children, staff and parents.
“It will mean we can continue to build on our reputation and it secures our future.”
On top of the parish council grant, Oxfordshire County Council gave £25,000 and other bodies gave smaller amounts. The playgroup itself raised £5,000 through a pig roast, bingo and sponsored walks.
Work will start on the new unit, which will be another temporary building on the same footprint, in late July or early August and will be finished in September.
When the new building opens the playgroup hopes to increase its opening hours. It currently only opens 9am to noon Monday to Friday.
Minister Lovell Parish Council clerk Katherine Doughty said: “The playgroup is a community asset.
“They have close links with the primary school which means the transition for the children is easy and the care is second to none. They asked for the sum and we were more than happy to provide it.”
She said the council had been able to give such a large grant because it had been “very prudent” with its cash.
Minster Lovell Playgroup looks after up to 24 children, between the ages of two and five, at a time. For more information, contact 01993 705645.