Improved facilities for families and communities in Alloa South have been celebrated with the official opening of an extension to Park Early Learning & Childcare and an upgraded and improved Bowmar Centre.
A total of £4.35 million was invested in the projects, with funding provided by the Council and the Scottish Government.
The newly refurbished and extended Park ELC opened to children in September, and is built in the grounds of Park Nursery Class. It now provides a variety of internal and outside spaces to provide the children with a high quality and enjoyable early learning experience.
The building has been shaped to get the most out of the site and to create an internal courtyard feel to the main outside play areas. The building gives an open feeling and yet provides lots of smaller spaces where groups or individuals can go for a quieter time, with use of acoustic panels to help keep noise levels regulated.
In addition, the facility now has renewable air source heating pumps as its main heating source, helping to reduce carbon emissions and helping us to improve our environment.
Park ELC is open all year round and offers families flexible Early Learning and Childcare from 8.00am until 5.40pm. It has capacity for 140 children aged 2 to 5 years, and this project is part of Clackmannanshire’s investment to provide families with 1140 hours per year of high quality, flexible funded early learning and childcare. Clackmannanshire met the provision of 1140 hrs milestone in August 2020, 12 months ahead of the official deadline.
The significant upgrade works at the Bowmar Centre have upgraded the building to ensure it is wind and watertight so that it can provide valuable facilities for the local community in the years ahead.
The centre now has a complete new roof, full electrical upgrade including CCTV, upgrade of toilets and changing facilities, renewed central heating including improved energy efficiency, upgraded flooring and redecoration.
The newly improved centre will now be able to more fully meet the requirements of the local community with a focus on community empowerment, learning, wellbeing and social enterprises. The centre hosts a number of community based programmes, and the improvement project was developed after engagement with local people to hear what they wanted for their community as part of the Alloa South & East Action Plan.
Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of the Council, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work with our partners to deliver these new and upgraded facilities to help improve the lives of the communities of Alloa South East.
“Park ELC is now a fantastic facility that provides an excellent learning environment for our youngest children, helping families to access work and training opportunities to enhance the opportunities available to them.
“Another element of our work to help our communities thrive is the significant improvements that have taken place at the Bowmar Centre. The centre is already busy with community activities and support, and this investment means that the community can have confidence in accessing a more secure and comfortable building that can grow into an extensive local hub for everyone.”