A £639,000 plan to extend the early years centre at Kilbirnie’s St Bridget’s Primary has taken a major step forward.

North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet has given the green light for public consultation to be carried out on the proposals, which would see the creation of a larger, modern and fit-for-purpose early years centre.

The refurbishment would see improvements in the dining, nurture and parenting facilities, the outdoor learning area and children’s toilets. The proposals would see children who might normally attend the neighbouring Garnock Valley Early Years Centre transfer to the newly-refurbished St Bridget’s Early Years Centre from August 2020.

Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We are currently rolling-out our programme of expanded hours to early years centres across North Ayrshire, allowing children to benefit from almost double the number of free childcare hours currently available. The feedback we’ve been receiving from parents has been hugely positive and they are seeing the benefits in their child’s progression.

“As more and more early years centres start to offer the expanded hours, the facilities will need to be enhanced - that’s why we are proposing to invest a significant amount of money into improving the early years centre at St Bridget’s, ensuring our children can get the best possible start in life.”

Consultation on the proposals get underway today (January 23). All interested parties are invited to make written representation on the proposal to the Head of Service (Inclusion), Education and Youth Employment, Cunninghame House, Irvine, no later than 12pm on March 8. A report on the outcome of the consultation will then be presented to a future meeting of cabinet.