Austerity plans hit Stoke Newington nursery

Government austerity plans hit a Stoke Newington nursery’s renovation plans last week, when earmarked �330,000 funding was axed.

The Learning Trust allocated the money to The Fire Station Community Nursery in Leswin Road, out of the government’s Early Year’s Capital Grant Scheme.

But the nursery was informed last week that the funds to improve the building’s entrance and to erect a raised play-deck over the yard at its rear had been axed.

It was hoped the play-deck would provide much needed outdoor space for the older children at the community-run nursery and preschool, which has been running for 20 years.

It would also have provided a covered area for packing by organic fruit and vegetable box scheme provider Growing Communities, which also operates from the old fire station.

Nursery treasurer Nick Saltmarsh said they were disappointed to lose the funding: “We haven’t identified other possible funders yet, but now we know it’s not available we are working hard to identify alternative sources,” he said.

The nursery submitted an application for planning permission to the council last week, and hope that if permission is granted work could begin immediately if they secure alternative funding.

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“This is part of the government’s austerity measures,” said a spokeswoman for The Learning Trust.

“No contractual commitment was in place and we were required to surrender back funding to the Department for Education.”

The building is also used by carers’ support group Anika Patrice and has rooms available for public hire.