Barra Children’s Centre developments

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THE Barra Children’s Centre have announced they have been successful in a stage one application to Big Lottery Community Spaces Scotland for funding to build an extension to the nursery unit this week.

Applications to the fund are made in two stages, and a second stage application will be submitted in early October 2013.

The group also received an award of £3,893 from Big Lottery Investing in Communities to pay for professional and statutory fees to obtain planning permission before making the stage two application.

Funding will also pay for a feasibility study into the sustainability and on-going costs of heating the extension.

A spokesperson for the group said; “Although there is no guarantee of success as stage two, the award takes us one step closer to creating an extension to the nursery unit which will provide additional accommodation in the Gaelic nursery.

“The garden room extension, built on to the south facing gable end of our existing building, would provide additional space within the nursery for English and Gaelic classes to play inside during bad weather and would provide direct access from both nursery classrooms to the garden ensuring that children in the nursery are able to enjoy as much outdoor play as possible.”

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

Plans are also well under way to create a natural play space in the grounds of Barra Children’s Centre thanks to a CSPP Adopt an Intern Scheme.

The scheme, which is joint funded by the European Social Fund and the Scottish Government, enabled them to employ a landscape architect on a 16 week placement to design a play space in consultation with children, parents and staff at the Children’s Centre.

The design includes a refurbished fishing boat, sandpit, water feature and several features made from local willow.

Public artist Gordon Young is due to visit the centre to present a proposal for a sculptural work in Gaelic and English for the community garden.

His visit is supported by CnES Arts Revenue and Sgioba na Gaighlig funding.

The spokesperson added: “Gordon is one of the UK’s leading artists in the field of public art, most recently winning the 2012 Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.

“This is a rare and exciting opportunity to create high quality public art for children on Barra and Vatersay which we hope will be enjoyed by the whole community for many years to come.”