Renovation of an empty building in Buttershaw into a nursery and community hall is nearing completion. The Cooperville Centre, as it will be known, is due to open in the New Year and will offer nursery places for up to 80 children and provide a communal space for local organisations to hire and to host events.
Bradford Council identified a chronic shortage of nursery places in the Buttershaw area and approached Footprints Family Centre to see if it could extend its existing nursery to meet demand. The council calculated that 64 two year olds in the area didn’t have a place for early education.
In response, the charity, unable to accommodate more children at its site on The Crescent, found a suitable property in the heart of the estate to open a further nursery creating 40 spaces for 80 children a day, each attending a half-day session. Charity Bank, which only lends to charities and social enterprises, co-funded the project with Bradford Council.
Aubrey Sitch, chief executive at Footprints Family Centre, says: “Charity Bank stepped in when the project was struggling to get off the ground and offered valuable support in developing a viable proposal for the new nursery.
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“Through the support we were given, we were able to purchase this rare building on our estate and retain it for community use. Without this timely intervention, the building would have been sold off leaving Buttershaw short of community provision for our 7,000 residents. We are keen that the young and elderly alike have more places to access positive activities and build relationships.”
Earlier in the month Footprints Family Centre won a social investment award for the Cooperville Centre project from Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber and in May it won a Charity Bank community impact innovation award for creating local employment and delivering local services to improve residents’ lives.
Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank regional manager for the North, said: “We’re here to support unsung community heroes – ordinary people doing extraordinary things – to ensure that projects such as the Cooperville Centre can access the right financing to fulfil their missions, realise their ambitions and to flourish.”