Nursery group acquires historic pub

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West Yorkshire chain Kinder Haven opens its fifth setting in Bradford this week.

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The new setting will open on Halifax Road on the site of the former King’s Head pub, which had been empty for two years before Kinder Haven bought the property in 2011.

The Grade II listed building will provide space for 78 children and employ  a minimum of 17 members of staff when the nursery opens its doors on Thursday.

Work began on the Bradford property in April and it has taken 23 weeks to complete at a cost of around £450,000. The chain worked with Bradford City Council and English Heritage on the development plans.

Kinder Haven, which was set up in 2002, runs four other nurseries in Bradford and Pudsey, all of which are based in converted pubs or churches. 

Owner Danielle Dixon said, ‘The building looks absolutely amazing. It’s a real mixture of old and new. We’ve kept the historic windows and the original stonework and where we’ve added our two extensions we’ve matched the stonework and guttering like for like. It’s really brought the building back to life.’

Although much of the outside of the building remains the same, the inside has been brought up to date with technology including CCTV, a parents’ room with cameras and monitoring buttons that can be used to view the nursery, and fob-controlled entry for parents which is limited to their own child’s room.

Ms Dixon added, ‘Ofsted came in earlier this month and were really impressed, saying that it was all really well thought out. The local community have been amazed as well. It’s good to hear that kind of feedback.’

In 2008 Kinder Haven's Sticker Lane nursery in Bradford was named UK National Day Nursery of the Year by the National Day Nurseries Association. Last year, the Pudsey setting was graded outstanding. Nursery manager Ann-Louise Epton was also highly commended in Nursery World’s Awards in 2009.

Ms Dixon is keen to expand the chain further in the future. ‘We are always looking at other areas. Of course the priority is to make sure that our provision is embedded in good practice and is ready to prepare children for all aspects of learning and development. For us it’s really a case of watch this space.’

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