Nursery opens in church conversion

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A family-owned children’s nursery business in Greater Manchester has expanded after transforming a former church into its second venue.

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Clockwork Day Nursery in Audenshaw

Clockwork Day Nursery, owned by father and daughter Jack and Lorna Meredith, has opened a second site, spending £350,000 on modernising an old church building in Audenshaw, which has provision for 78 children from birth to four. The new business has created 35 jobs.

The new nursery also runs an out-of-school club for up to 24 children aged 4-12 and a holiday club.

The Merediths established Clockwork in 2002 with a nursery in an old Victorian school building in Ashton-under-Lyne after Lorna was unable to find suitable nursery provision in the area for her then three-month-old son Jack.

The decision to expand with a second nursery came after Clockwork had achieved Investors in People status and had been rated as outstanding by Ofsted in 2013.

 ‘We felt there was room in the area for good quality childcare and this location is perfect, as it is near local schools, the train station and motorway,’ Miss Meredith said.

The new Audenshaw nursery is further expected to benefit from 170 new houses that are likely to be built on brownfield land close by.

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‘I think we will massively benefit from these one, two, three and four bedroom houses, as this will bring lots of families to the area,’ Miss Meredith said.

Ms Meredith explained how important it had been to find a building that fitted with their company identity when they decided it was time to expand with a second nursery.

‘We have retained many original features, and have refurbished the church in a modern way with lots of natural light, giving an airy and open-plan feel,’ Miss Meredith said. 

Paul Westwell, a partner at Tameside law firm Bromleys, advised Clockwork on the purchase of the building and Royal Bank of Scotland provided funding.

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