A redundant Warwickshire fire station has re-opened as a village community centre and pre-school providing full-day care, breakfast and after-school clubs, and holiday play schemes. Residents of Tysoe, near Stratford-upon-Avon, clubbed together to form the Tysoe Children's Group to save the building after the fire station closed in 1998. Their ambitious programme of fundraising included fetes, murder mystery evenings, dances, a farmers' market and sponsored abseiling down the church tower.
The building was refurbished with a grant of 206,000 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' rural enterprise scheme. Steve Lund of DEFRA's rural development service in the West Midlands said, 'By providing this high-quality and variety of childcare support, the scheme has helped to open the door for people who would otherwise not have been able to go into employment.'
Suzanne Holland, chairwoman and director of the Children's Group, said the pre-school already had a full complement of 20 children in the morning session, while the afternoon session was half-full and growing.