A childcare and learning facility near Stannington has already exceeded its original projections just a year after opening.
Laura Graham and Lindsey Oliver run The Nursery at Whitehouse Farm, which was established after the renovation of a former farm building.
The duo and their team provide an environment where children and parents alike feel safe, secure and nurtured and are open from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
The children’s daycare and pre-school facility – which has separate rooms for babies from the age of six weeks and toddlers, as well as a pre-school room, an outdoor play area and a Magical Garden area – was part-funded by the EU LEADER programme.
Creating sustainable employment is central to the key aims of LEADER and the venture is already hitting a year two projection by successfully creating the equivalent of 14 full-time jobs.
Ms Graham said “We are very proud of the fact that the nursery is promising to be all that we envisaged.
“We are delighted to have secured such a fabulous team to bring our unique environment to life.
“We are building strong relationships with both the children and their families – they are growing with us. We are working together, constantly learning and enhancing the service we offer.”
LEADER local action group members Simon Cox and Jean Orr recently took the opportunity to visit the nursery and find out more about its success.
Mr Cox said: “Not only are Laura, Lindsey and their team delivering a high quality service for children and their families, they are also now a significant rural employer.”
The Northumberland Coast and Lowlands LEADER group, one of 80 similar groups across the UK, is well on its way in allocating all of its £1.6million EU-derived funding, which in turn will pull in an additional £2million of private matched funding.
It is supported by a diverse group of local volunteers with a wide range of skills and experience.