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Early learning and childcare investment proposals put South Ayrshire community in the spotlight


A community in South Ayrshire could soon benefit from a significant investment in early learning and childcare. The Council has appointed Portakabin to build a proposed new state-of-the-art early years centre in Ayr which aims to transform existing services.

If approved, a proposed early years centre would be built in the grounds of the Dalmilling Primary Campus. The £2.2m development would provide a modern learning environment for up to 140 children (almost double the current capacity of 77) aged from birth to five years.

An existing Scottish Government policy will raise early learning and childcare entitlement from 600 hours to 1140 hours a year by 2020 for all three and four year olds, and for eligible two year olds. The overall objectives are to improve outcomes for children, maintain high quality early learning and childcare provision, and to provide more flexibility for parents who wish to work, train or study.

To help achieve this Portakabin (Scotland) has been awarded the role of Principal Designer and Contractor for the Early Years Centre at Dalmilling under a Scottish Building Contract Committee (SBCC) Design & Build Contract through the Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) Framework.

Alan Hyde, Education Specialist for Portakabin (Scotland) adds: “Early years centres are very special buildings. We have an enviable record of delivering bespoke buildings across the UK, specially designed to provide a safe, stimulating and fun learning environment for young children. To date, we’ve delivered more than 150, ranging from small early years centres for just eight children up to major pre-school facilities for more than 200 youngsters. Our aim is to work in partnership with Scotland’s Local Authorities to provide a stimulating educational environment from a child's viewpoint, assisting with children developing as successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens as outlined in Curriculum for Excellence.”

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said, “We’re committed to developing early learning and childcare systems that place schools at the heart of communities, targeting children and families in need, with Dalmilling one of our priority areas.

“Early learning and childcare in South Ayrshire is already of a high standard but to help us meet new targets we need to invest in our people and places to make sure that we can deliver for our communities.”

Roy Burrell, Director and General Manager for Portakabin (Scotland) said: “We’re a trusted team of specialists when it comes to building learning environments in Scotland. Having worked with councils like South Ayrshire before, our experts are more than aware of how we can deliver outstanding schools with the tightest of programmes. We have been able to showcase our pedigree on similar projects and we were delighted to learn we had won the contract for Cherry Tree; another step toward delivering even better educational programmes for the people of Scotland.”

An application has been submitted for planning permission and a decision is awaited.

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