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Building for the next generation

Work has begun to build a brand new, purpose-built pre-school at Knightwood Leisure Centre.

Funded by Test Valley Borough Council and project managed by Hampshire County Council, the authorities have collaborated to provide new bespoke facilities for Knightwood pre-school, which will include activity spaces, a kitchen, offices and an outdoor play area.

Test Valley Borough Council’s Community and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “It’s great to see that work has started on the new building. We are committed to working with the pre-school to ensure they have suitable facilities and we are looking forward to watching the building take shape.”

Carly Dorney and Catherine Botto are co-owners of Knightwood Pre-School. Carly said: “Catherine and I are really excited about our new building and we are very grateful to both Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council for supporting us.” Catherine added: “We have lots of ideas and plans for the new academic year so we can’t wait to move in!”

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “We are confident that the pre-school staff, children and parents will be very happy in their new home. Our property designers have a wealth of expertise and experience in designing spaces that support children’s capacity for learning and contribute to their ability to achieve. The new pre-school has been carefully designed to meet the particular needs of very young children and encourage early years learning through play. This new facility will also help to increase the number of pre-school places available locally, and the design also allows for space to operate a before and after-school club, as well as a holiday club, for local school-age children. Additionally, more eligible working families with 3 and 4 year old children will be able to benefit from the new, extended early years education entitlement of 30 free hours per week.”

The building is set to open early in the new academic year.