• 29 April 2021

Twelve new nurseries in Scotland complete

Waterman is delighted that the construction of 12 nurseries have reached completion for North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and East Ayrshire Council. Each early years facility was procured and developed by hub South West Scotland Limited in partnership with the three local authorities.

The new nurseries are part of the council’s commitment to deliver on the Scottish Government’s programme to provide additional hours of early learning and childcare for pre-school children.

In 2017, the Scottish Government announced it would almost double its funded childcare as part of a plan to reduce health, education and employment inequalities later in life. From August 2020, the government aimed to offer all three and four-year-olds, and a quarter of two-year olds, 1,140 hours of free childcare per year. Although the obligation to introduce this service has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, each of the councils have strived to provide the increased hours to as many children as possible.

Waterman’s team provided structural engineering consultancy services for each of these facilities. The appointments were entirely separate projects, although had several similarities. To reflect their individual requirements, a unique model for each council was designed and then adapted for each site to suit the proposed nursery numbers. Common features across the models included bright and airy activity spaces, quiet areas, kitchens, bathrooms with low level sinks and nappy changing facilities. To facilitate outdoor learning, every nursery features access to external play areas.

Our team delivered designs for nine early years facilities for North Lanarkshire council, sub-divided into two bundles. The first bundle, which comprised six new sites, is now completed, with the remaining three facilities due to commence on site next month. Designed by NORR Architects, the completed buildings include large sliding glazed doors, providing direct access to outdoor deck and garden space. The outdoor areas offer a range of landscape features including a planting zone, together with an all-weather hard landscape area for bikes, sandpits, mud pits and water play areas.

For South Lanarkshire Council, Waterman was appointed on three of their nurseries, including a site in Carluke. Designed by the council’s in-house architecture team, the new centre for early education provides three open plan playrooms, including one tailored ASN space. The playrooms lead onto the external playground with ancillary support accommodation located around the perimeter. The flexibility of the central area allows staff and pupils to use the space to suit their needs throughout the term.

A further three nursery facilities for East Ayrshire Council, designed by Anderson Bell + Christie, in Kilmaurs, Stewarton and Cumnock are also complete. The model design required a high pitched central internal play area to provide an expansive space for the pupils. To make use of this internal area, we created an upper-level mezzanine climbing zone. Access to outdoor learning is provided via large sliding doors to provide clear linkage between the two areas.

Discussing the growth potential in the region, Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West, said: “With this project we believe we are consolidating our position as the development partner of choice for North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire and the wider south west Scotland territory. The value of successfully completed projects handed over now exceeds £500m, with a further £750m worth of projects in development. The strength of hub South West’s pipeline allows us to continue making our outstanding strategic and sustainable contribution to both economic growth and social value in south west Scotland, while at the same time, engaging local contractors from within our territory, thereby creating local jobs and opportunities.”

Alun Rae, Director of Waterman Structures, commented: “We are thrilled to see the construction of each of these early years facilities complete. The nurseries have been designed to meet the individual needs of its users and it has been great to be a part of each of the design teams.”

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