Bexhill nursery unveils expansion plans
A nursery in Bexhill is set to expand after striking a deal with a neighbouring church.
All Saints C of E Primary School and Nursery in Sidley reached an agreement with All Saints Parish Church to lease the church hall directly next to the school and, following extensive refurbishment, will move their nursery classes into it from September 2021.
This means the nursery can increase the number of children on the roll from 40 to just under 60. It will continue to take children from two years old.
This joint venture would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of the Parochial Church Council, the Diocese of Chichester and the Archdeacon of Hastings.
All Saints School also has ambitions to provide a more comprehensive service to families living in the Sidley area.
Headteacher Mike Taylor said: “We hope that this will be more than a nursery and provide a base for us to engage with families beyond just those that attend our setting.
“If we can support young families or new parents and signpost them to support networks then we can have a really positive impact on our community.
“We are investing in the future of Sidley.”
The churchwardens, the church council and the congregation of All Saints Parish Church say they are excited to be involved in the project.
Angela Farley, churchwarden, said: “The school’s offer came at an opportune moment for us.
“Like many places, our income dropped dramatically during the pandemic and, even now, shows no real signs of recovery.
“We still have to pay for the upkeep of our facilities but with no steady income.
“The hall also needs refurbishment which the school are able to do.”
This has also spurred on the Parochial Church Council with their desire to make the church more accessible to the community. The council is planning, subject to grant applications, major updates to facilities, including disabled access, new toilets and kitchen facilities.
Churchwarden Kath Umpleby said: “Our mission as a parish church is to serve the community.
“We want everyone to be comfortable about coming into church, and to use it as a meeting place.
“We see this stretch of All Saints Lane as an ‘All Saints Hub’ church, nursery and school together.”
The new nursery will now be located next to the school’s Forest School site which will mean more opportunities for the nursery children to be outside.
To book places for September, call the school and nursery office on 01424 219083.