A new nursery school on Norwich Research Park was officially opened by Peter Innes, Chair of the John Innes Foundation. The nursery was delivered by Norwich Research Partners LLP (NRP LLP) to meet a clear need for childcare facilities identified after consultation with all Norwich Research Park Partners.
David Parfrey, Executive Chair Norwich Research Partners LLP said: “We are delighted to have opened the doors to this new nursery. It is important to make sure Park employees feel supported in their work-life balance and the nursery ensures they have easy access to childcare.”
The nursery has been funded by an Early Years Capital Fund grant of over £433,000 from Norfolk County Council, as part of its programme to provide more full time childcare places for working parents across Norfolk, due to the introduction of 30 hours free childcare. This was supplemented by additional financial support of £275,000 from the John Innes Foundation (JIF). JIF is a charity dedicated to educational advance in plant science, horticulture and related subjects. They also encourage and assist those studying or wanting to study plant sciences in their careers.
Peter Innes, Chair of John Innes Foundation, cutting the ribbon to open the new nursery
Peter Innes, Chair of John Innes Foundation said: “First class childcare provision is essential not just for current employees with young families at the Park, but also in helping to attract those who might be thinking of re-locating. We regard such provision as fundamental to the welcoming and holistic ethos the Park is generating and are very pleased to have joined with Norfolk County Council in funding these superb facilities.”
NRP LLP has worked closely with Norfolk County Council Early Years staff, JIF and Partner organisations to deliver this much needed asset to the Park.
Penny Carpenter, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services Committee added:
“Chestnut Nursery School is a superb new asset for this rapidly growing part of our county. It has increased the number of vital early years learning places that are now available for pre-schoolers from surrounding communities and the project has some of the most modern nursery facilities in our county, which I’m sure will help provide an excellent foundation for the children’s future education.
“It’s also a great facility for working parents, and I am extremely pleased that through our partnership with Norwich Research Park we have been able to help them realise their ambition and to provide high quality nursery provision for the children of parents who work at the Research Park, particularly as this site is recognised for its support of the work of women in science.”
The building refurbishments were completed in just 6 months after the appointment of local contractors T. Gill and Son. The nursery is located within Zone 1 of the Park and creates an outstanding nursery environment for 92 full day childcare places for ages 0-5 years. There are creche facilities including a large secure outside play area and a holiday club for children up to 8 years.
The Nursery will be operated by Chestnut Nursery Schools Ltd, one of the UK’s leading providers of high-quality pre-school education.
Sarah Blyth, Director of Childcare, Chestnut Day Nurseries said: “We are thrilled to announce that Chestnut Nursery Schools Ltd has added a second nursery in Norwich. The Nursery will have a strong emphasis on core curricular activities such as Little Scientists, Little Explorers, Cooking Together and Mini Artists. These experiences help children to move onto the next stage of their school life.”
The nursery is a fantastic, bright, fun space for children. It is the latest facility to be added to Norwich Research Park and contributes to the supportive environment on offer here for both organisations and their employees. Some spaces are still available and Chestnut Nursery School welcomes visits to the nursery.