A VOLUNTARY-run nursery has been given a new lease of life and its facilities completely transformed.

The old Learning Tree nursery at Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk, was razed to the ground at the end of last term so a purpose-built, timber construction could be craned onto the site.

And it has now opened its doors to local youngsters for the first time, after being officially opened by local councillor Chris Brown.

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The nursery is a charity that was first launched more than 30 years ago by local community members to help parents get back to work and initially provided childcare for two mornings a week.

That has since grown and the nursery setting now offers a full child day care service including the “kids club” that serves Carlton Miniott School.

But in recent years the original building had begun to deteriorate into a state that was beyond repair, which was when the fundraising began for a new building.

A number of years ago fund-raising was begun locally and late last year the £120,000 replacement project began in earnest with the help of a number of big-hearted local companies.

Trustee Jennifer Butcher – who was also one of the project managers for the build – said: “It is a really great environment for the children and has all the modern facilities.

“We have a nursery manager but it is all run by a committee of volunteers. It provides parents with affordable childcare, which is very important in the day and age, and we currently have well over 100 children on our books.”

She said the project would not have been possible without the help received from local businesses who worked either completely for free or at much reduced rates.

North Yorkshire Timber created the new building for the nursery. “Without their help nothing would have been possible,” said Ms Butcher.

Other companies who have been involved include RE Thompson Electrics, Kevin Baker Designs, Mark Cockerill Joiner, DJ Moon Plumbing, Alex Fox Joiner, Bill Bartram Joiner, JD Photography, Selective Skips, Howdens and Calverts Carpets.