Published: Monday, 28th Jan 2019

Valuable family services will continue in Kearsley thanks to an agreement secured by Bolton Council.

Woodbridge College will take over the lease to Kearsley Children’s Centre when existing services move to a new home.

The centre’s Start Well services, including play sessions, parenting classes and health support, are set to transfer to a new hub at King Street in Farnworth following a £478,000 renovation.

But Woodbridge College, a specialist training organisation for young people with learning difficulties, has committed to keeping valuable community services in Kearsley.

As part of the lease agreement, the college will work with Bolton Council’s Start Well team to continue early years services as well as delivering parent and child activities and community workshops.

The college also has plans to open a community café to allow learners to gain supported work experience in catering, hospitality and business administration.

Sally McFarlane, Executive Headteacher at Woodbridge Academy Trust, said:

“Woodbridge College is a new venture for our academy trust.

“We want to ensure that when our young people leave school, they can attend a community-based college setting that enables them to develop the skills they will need in adulthood.

“Basing our college at this site provides a fantastic opportunity to offer a wide range of college experiences for the students including the chance to support some of the existing community-based activities which are already offered by the centre.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the council to ensure that the use of this building brings mutual benefit for both our students and the community it serves.”

Families in this part of the borough will be well supported to ensure their children get the best possible start in life.

Executive Cabinet Member for Education, Schools, Safeguarding and Looked after Children, Cllr Ann Cunliffe, said:

“Woodbridge College is an ideal choice to be the custodians of Kearsley Children’s Centre.

“I am delighted that early years services will continue at the site as well as other activities that I’m sure will add real value to the local community.

“Together with the newly refurbished Sure Start hub in Farnworth, families in this part of the borough will be well supported to ensure their children get the best possible start in life.”