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‘We have to stay open’ - £100,000 needed to save popular Kenninghall Pre-School Nursery

PUBLISHED: 10:32 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 13 January 2018

Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery manager, Karen Webster, with three of the youngsters from left, Matthew McAllister, three; Ayla Watson, two; and Percy Smith, three. The Pre-School is hooing for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery manager, Karen Webster, with three of the youngsters from left, Matthew McAllister, three; Ayla Watson, two; and Percy Smith, three. The Pre-School is hooing for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

A popular pre-school could need about £100,000 to replace its crumbling 25-year-old mobile building - or risk having to close for good.

MP Liz Truss with Ayla Watson, two, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Liz Truss with Ayla Watson, two, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The nursery in Kenninghall, between Thetford and Diss, provides a vital service to working parents in the village, who might not otherwise have time to take their children elsewhere.

But it has spent its whole quarter of a century lifespan in the same mobile classroom in School Close, Kenninghall, which is less durable than a brick building and has long been showing signs of wear and tear.

MP Liz Truss with Matthew McAllister, three, left, and Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Liz Truss with Matthew McAllister, three, left, and Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We are at a point where a survey has been done and it has not got a long shelf life left,” said pre-school chairman Heidi Glendenning.

“The scenario at the moment is that if the building were to fall down tomorrow, we’d be stuck. We have no other facilities to move the pre-school to.

MP Liz Truss with Matthew McAllister, three, left, and Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Liz Truss with Matthew McAllister, three, left, and Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We have to stay open.”

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss visited the pre-school on Friday, January 12 to support the fundraising campaign.

Organisers say that replacing the current premises with another mobile classroom would cost £60,000 - but Mrs Glendenning said: “We’d really like it not to be a mobile classroom.”

Mrs Glendenning said the pre-school desperately needs more space including a quiet zone and music area, adding: “It’s better for their learning. It’s just a better environment for them.

MP Liz Truss with Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Liz Truss with Percy Smith, three, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We’d like to offer more facilities but in a mobile classroom we just can’t do that.”

MP Liz Truss with Ayla Watson, two, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Liz Truss with Ayla Watson, two, during her visit to the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery, which is hoping for new premises as their mobile is over 25 years old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Organisers estimate that they will need somewhere in the region of £100,000, although the final total will depend on where they can build as well as the size and type of building they go for.

“We’re talking about various options,” said Mrs Glendenning.

“We’re in the village and we’re heavily relied on by parents round here. Some families share a car and can walk to the pre-school.

“It’s really important for the village to keep the pre-school.”

The mobile which has housed the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery for over 25 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe mobile which has housed the Kenninghall Pre-school Nursery for over 25 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fundraisers will pursue grant money but said it is likely donations will also be needed from the public.

It also plans to hold fundraising events.

Anyone who is interested in helping Kenninghall Pre-School and Nursery’s campaign should email Mrs Glendenning on hdawno@hotmail.co.uk

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