Burley: Nursery and children’s centre in £1.8 million move from ‘awful’ building

12 February 2020

Plans to move a nursery and children’s centre from an “awful” building in Burley have been given the green light by a panel of senior councillors, writes Richard Beecham.

Members of Leeds City Council’s decision-making executive board agreed to grant £1.8m to refurbishing the former Burley Park pupil referral unit (PRU), and allowing nearby Burley Park Little Owls Nursery and Children’s Centre to move into the space.

The meeting heard that the nursery’s current home, off St Matthias Street, Burley, had reached the end of its lifespan, and that it would be unrealistic to refurbish the building.

Cllr Fiona Venner

Coun Fiona Venner (Lab, Kirkstall), the authority’s executive member for children’s services, told the meeting about the nursery’s current home adding:

“It’s an outstanding provider in probably the worst building – it was built to last for 25 years and it has lasted 47.

“The building can’t be repaired – it’s come to the end of its natural life. It is only across the road, so people using that children’s centre are not going to be inconvenienced.

“The building is awful – a new building does offer a great marketing opportunity to get more local people to use the centre.”

A document from council officers also confirmed that the former PRU site would house office space for Leeds City Council, which has been empty since April 2018.

The estimated cost for the works is £1.8m, which includes the refurbishment costs for both the council office space as well as ensuring a ‘compliant nursery that meets the needs of local families.’

Work is expected to start on the site this spring, with an anticipated completion date of July 2020.

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