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Councillor Alan Dowden presenting the cheque to Carly and Harriet

New childcare provision in Valley Park gets financial boost

Valley Knights Childcare has been awarded a £750 Business Incentive Grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

Carly Dorney and Harriet Brown started the after-school club in the main hall at Knightwood Leisure Centre in Valley Park in October 2021, after both working in nursery management for nine years.

The afterschool club is being supported by Hampshire County Council’s Services for Young Children department and it helps to address the shortage of early years provision in the area. They will also have an Ofsted premises inspection to gain a recognised accreditation.

The size of the hall at Knightwood Leisure Centre enables them to have a capacity of 70 children, but they will be starting with 35 spaces with 20 children signed up straight away, which highlights the demand and they anticipate being full. The after school club sessions cover four hours a day in term time and 50 hours a week childcare will be available during school holidays.

Carly said: “The grant has been a great help to get the after school club off the ground.”

Harriet added: “It is great to have so much support in our new venture and we look forward to making it a success meeting a need in the local community.”

Councillor Alan Dowden, who presented the cheque to Carly and Harriet, said: "I wish Carly and Harriet all the best with the after school club. The business incentive grants are a fantastic opportunity for a financial boost to local new businesses and much needed services for our community."

The council’s business incentive grants are available to anyone looking to set up their own business in Test Valley. Anyone who successfully applies for the grant will receive £750 if their business is still going strong six months later.

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and the use of the New Homes Bonus.

For more information about the council’s grant schemes, visit