New building for once-struggling Lympstone Preschool makes ‘indescribable’ difference

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 March 2018

Lympstone Preschool's new premises behind the village hall

Lympstone Preschool's new premises behind the village hall

Archant

A purpose-built new £500,000 building has made an ‘indescribable’ difference at Lympstone Preschool.

Lympstone Preschool's new premises behind the village hall Lympstone Preschool's new premises behind the village hall

Increasing costs meant the facility, then based in the village hall, was facing closure so leaders launched a fundraiser for a new eco-classroom in 2014.

Support was secured through the Lympstone Learning Alliance Charity, a ‘substantial’ donation by a local businessman and other donors, but the main funding came from the Government.

Manager Vicki Drinkwater said: “We were prepared with business plans and proposals and were very lucky to be selected to receive a purpose built preschool with our very own Wernicks building – we are absolutely delighted.

“The difference it has made is indescribable. We have struggled for many years financially and have relied heavily on massive fundraising projects to break even and stay afloat.”

The previous setup in the village hall was expensive and time-consuming to run but the new one has ‘minimal’ overheads.

Vicki added: “This has given us such freedom and a really fantastic space for the children. They absolutely love it – they’ve taken to the new building like ducks to water. They are really engaged in all of the fantastic activities and resources we now have available and as we no longer have to pack away, they can really make the place their own.

“We received a ‘good’ Ofsted inspection in December 2017 so this will really allow us to build on our excellent practice.”

Councillor Rob Longhurst, who started the Lympstone Learning Alliance to fundraise for the new facility, said: “The preschool needed money to survive. It had to get bigger. There’s nothing like a challenge so I offered to help build a new preschool.”

After applying for grants and receiving some donations, he was told if the charity could secure 25 per cent, Government would provide the rest.

Cllr Longhurst said: “It’s taken a lot of time and effort but it’s been well worth it.”

The new building has been operational since February 19 and an official opening is planned for later this month.

Preschool leaders will be shortlisting names for the two classrooms over the coming weeks and will ask their supporters to help decide which to use.

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