Nursery due to open at former primary school site in Maesbury

A former Shropshire primary school is being transformed into a nursery for more than 100 youngsters.

Unicorn Day Nursery will create up to 30 jobs when it opens at the old Maesbury Primary School near Oswestry.

The building is currently undergoing a £100,000 refurbishment and an opening date has been earmarked for January or February.

The move follows a chance visit to the area by Unicorn Day Nursery owner Louise Batham-Willmore when she came across the empty school and thought it would be an ideal location for a nursery.

“I was told there was a lot of upset when the school closed and we want this building to be the focus of the community, not just for the nursery but for other events and the local people to enjoy the facilities,” she said.

“I came across the place by accident really, I was driving through Maesbury, wasn’t actively looking for another nursery but when I saw it I couldn’t believe my luck. It was ideal. I thought it would make a fantastic nursery and only about 10 minutes away from Oswestry.”

Halls Commercial handled the sale and the offer was accepted within about 10 days.

Louise already successfully runs two other nurseries in the West Midlands at Oldbury and Tipton and is looking forward to opening what she says is potentially the biggest pre-school provision in the area.

“The structure of the building is sound but there was no power or water and there is a massive amount of work that needs doing, as it had been closed down for five years,” she added.

“We have already had a tremendous response and loads of enquiries - it’s funny, but every workman who has been working on the refurbishment says they went to the school. This whole project has generated a lot of interest.

“It really is the ideal location for a nursery and comes at a time when, due to funding cuts, a nursery has been forced to close nearby in Oswestry.”

Unicorn Day Nursery will be catering for children from six weeks to five years old and hopes to run a Forest School.

There will be a recruitment drive for staff next month as well as an apprenticeship programme.

James Evans, of Halls Commercial, said: “This is an ideal building and in an ideal setting for a nursery. The grounds are conducive to a variety of outdoor activities and should prove to be a valued addition to the local community.”

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