Wiltshire Publications

Community Support gets plans for new Bratton pre-school under way

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A NEW facility for pre-school age children in Bratton has been given the green light. Local families in the village and surrounding area have welcomed the news.

In September, Bratton Pre-school closed, resulting in a lack of childcare facilities. After several weeks of planning, consultation and negotiation, Cygnets Pre-school in Westbury have announced that an agreement has been reached with the Bratton Parish Council that will see a new Cygnets pre-school opening in the heart of Bratton in early 2020.

Plans are being developed that will result in significant refurbishment to the Bratton Pavilion, to ensure it complies with all regulations and offers a suitable environment for the new pre-school. Major changes to the building will include the addition of smaller toilets for children, disabled facilities and a new kitchen. Work will be carried out by a team of volunteers, with donations of new fixtures and fittings already secured.

Cygnets will offer childcare in the new Bratton setting to match that already offered in Westbury for ages two to four. The pre-school plans to open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, and leaders say it will mirror Cygnets’ existing approach to childcare and learning led by the interests of the children. They say that Cygnets promote learning through play, with indoor and outdoor resources and a focus on curiosity-inspiring objects made from a range of natural materials.

Emma Osmond, manager of Cygnets and a Bratton resident, has been spearheading the project with support from the Cygnets committee. She said, “We are enormously excited at the prospect of bringing Cygnets to Bratton. The support we have received so far from the parish council and the village community has been quite incredible. As a charity, Cygnets relies heavily on donations and support from volunteers – we have already secured a number of grants for funding and been overwhelmed with offers of assistance with the renovation work. The project is still in its early stages, but we are looking forward to recruiting a new dedicated team and getting to work.”

Jeff Ligo, chair of Bratton Parish Council said, “The parish council is delighted that agreement has been reached with Cygnets to achieve the pre-school in the council’s pavilion on the green.  The project has the unanimous support of the council and they will now work with Cygnets to bring it to fruition as soon as possible.  

“Some in the village have reservations about the loss of the pavilion as a space available for other groups, but the council is committed to help those who will have to re-locate find new accommodation.  Already the council has agreed to give a small grant to the toddler group, so they can transfer to the Church Institute. 

“The loss of the pre-school earlier this year was met with great disappointment in the village, but the commitment of Emma Osmond from Cygnets to plug this gap, indeed to increase the operating hours to five days a week, has been outstanding in driving the project forward.”  

A crowdfunding page has been set up for members of the community to contribute to the development of the new pre-school. Details can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ bratton-preschool 

For more information on Cygnets please visit www.cygnetspreschool. co.uk

Picture: Manager of Cygnets, Emma Osmond, with assistant manager, Hannah Seviour.