CELEBRATIONS broke out at The Mead Community Primary School this week after it received more than £140,000 to build a nursery on its Hilperton site.

The Mead, along with many other schools across the county, were the beneficiaries of a substantial amount of funding for childcare provision from the Department for Education.

This is part of a £50m grant scheme, £1.4m of which went to schools in Wiltshire, to help deliver the government's 30 hours free childcare offer from September 2017.

Headteacher Emma Holton said: "Ever since The Mead opened in 2001, we have held the ambition of having a nursery as part of our provision and we are over the moon to finally be able to fulfil our dream and add the final missing piece to our school family jigsaw puzzle.

"We are excited about the opportunities that having a nursery on site will provide our children in developing the characteristics of effective learning and skills that are essential for school readiness.

"We also feel strongly that this will be of great benefit to local families as they will be able to access the 30 hours free entitlement for working parents from September 2017 at The Mead.

"We aim to make the best use of our beautiful gardens and site the nursery in the orchard – but obviously the building is still subject to planning consent.

"If this is the confirmed site, the provision will be called The Orchard Nursery and will have strong links with the current Early Years learning spaces."

Bradford on Avon's Westview Nursery also has reason to celebrate after securing its own significant funding boost of £27,012 which will be spent on refurbishing and expanding its site in St Margaret's Street.

Nursery manager Charlotte Adcock said: "We are delighted and very excited to have received this funding. We can use it to make this a better venue, with more space, more equipment and more new faces."

A further £170,000 will go to St Michael's Preschool so that it can attempt to move into its own separate site, instead of its current village hall premises in Hilperton.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: "The cost of childcare is often a barrier for parents wishing to return to work and the success of these bids will help to provide sufficient places in Wiltshire and support parents to be able to access affordable childcare.

"I would like to congratulate all our successful providers. All the bids were for areas of the county where we identified a need for more early years provision. These successful bids will help us to support parents wanting to take up their 30 hours free entitlement and ensure we provide sufficient early years and childcare in the county."