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Cash boost for children's nursery plan

COMMUNITY groups have won a grant of nearly half a million pounds to build a children's nursery in Ashford.

A delighted Jeremy Newson, South Ashford Baptist Church's Minister and chairman of the playgroup there, said the money would enable a new 58-place nursery to be built on four-and-a-half acres of mainly unused land at Noakes Meadow.

Mr Newson, also chairman of the local Oaklands Community Association, said the Kiddie Kapers nursery at his church was so successful that it now had a substantial waiting list. When Kiddie Kapers learned of the Government's Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative it linked with his church and the community association to bid for cash.

"We have just learned that we have been awarded £426,000 for a nursery project to be completed by December 2003," he said. Sure Start, another Government initiative, was interested in providing a similar amount which meant that more than £900,000 could be available for the centre.

This would ensure the nursery's future for up to 10 years as well as help pay for the building.

Providing the scheme got the go-ahead it was planned to site the building on land owned by his church and a small area of adjoining land owned by Ashford council. The nursery would help raise standards in what was a disadvantaged area.

Mr Newson invites anyone wanting more information about the project to call him on 01233 646007.

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