A PLAYGROUP in Angmering has had a £100,000 make-over after receiving a significant funding boost.
The William Older Playgroup, in Arundel Road, officially cut the ribbon on its new facilities on Friday (January 23).
The cash windfall was provided by West Sussex County Council as part of a scheme to expand the early learning provision for two-year-olds in the area.
An overjoyed Sue Droy, the manager of the playgroup, said: “We were absolutely delighted to hear the news, as for the past few years we have been full to capacity and had a waiting list for spaces.
“The grant offered us a unique opportunity to extend our space and allow many more children in the village to come here, including those with additional needs and disabilities.”
As the centre’s oldest child, four-year-old George McCarthy was given the honour of cutting the ribbon.
The money has been put to terrific use with plenty more space for toddlers and youngsters to play in.
Among the new facilities paid for by the funding injection is a brand-new playroom, kitted-out with a dark den sensory area for children.
There is also an art station for messy play, light table, role play kitchen area, puppet stand and a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine train table with a book reading area.
Sue added: “It looks amazing.”
Money has also been spent on improving the children’s changing facilities.
Other improvements include a family room where staff will be able to talk to parents in peace about their children’s progress.
The added funding now means that the playgroup will be able to offer 25 more places per session.
“In the spring time we are looking forward to developing our new outdoor space and have plans for a rainbow shelter, digging area, adventure trail and the climbing tower,” Sue said.
The cash was part of a £1million fund set aside by West Sussex County Council.
County council cabinet member for children – Start of Life, Peter Evans, said: “We have a duty to make sure there are sufficient places available for eligible two-year-olds to receive free early learning places.
“Angmering was identified as a priority area after data research showed there were potentially eligible two-year-olds who would benefit.
“The county council secured funding of £100,000 to go towards extending the Angmering Children and Family Centre’s existing building.
“It has created a safe, accessible outdoor play area and increased the level of resources there.
“Before this, the centre was full, had a waiting list, and needed an extension to create new spaces.”