Nursery children decant to old Eric Gray following delay in nursery works

Nursery children at Sound have decanted to the old Eric Gray to allow building work relating to the roll-out of expanded hours to be completed at their normal setting.

Elected members have been told the old resource centre at Kanterstead had to be pressed into service because construction work was not finished on time.

Shetland Islands Council is progressing Scottish government plans to almost double the nursery entitlement hours to 1,140 from August next year.

But redevelopment and construction work is being carried out to help the council reach its target.

Director of children’s services Helen Budge told Monday’s education and families meeting that youngsters at Sound would be using the old Eric Gray until the October holidays.

“We’ll use this time to get the work done in Sound,” she said.

But Lerwick South member Peter Campbell raised questions over why the delay had happened. He argued the work at Sound was taking twice the time originally scheduled.

“There was concern expressed at the last committee meeting about the timescale for these works, and these concerns are proving to be justified,” he said.

“Do we have any reason as to why the work was not completed on time?”

Responding, Mrs Budge said the same sub-contractors were being used for three out of the four areas of work being carried out. But she insisted staff always had contingencies in place.

She added staff would use the “window” of the October holidays to ensure the move back to the newly refurbished setting.

Mrs Budge said youngsters would not be losing any of the expanded hours they were entitled to.

Earlier, Mrs Budge said staff in Baltasound, Bell’s Brae and Cunningsburgh had worked “extremely hard” to ensure nursery settings were ready for the extended provision.

• See Friday’s Shetland Times for full story.


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