Nursery and autism centre planned for derelict Shrewsbury building
A derelict Shrewsbury building which dates back to the 1860s is set to undergo a multi-million pound refurbishment to transform it into a children’s nursery as well as accommodating a private autism centre.
The Hollies site, in Sutton Road, is the former home of Shropshire’s county training services and the new home of nursery provider Childcare at The Hollies.
The three-storey building at its heart of the complex will get a new lease of life as a new autism centre for children in the county. It will also provide a new home for the existing, conventional nursery that is currently based in its grounds.
At the helm of the transformation is Dr Grant Charlesworth Jones, his partner Juliet and their five children.
They say the autism centre will be the only one of its kind in the Midlands.
The family is working with Summerfield Healthcare, which operates private GP practices, and Shropshire Autism Service, led by Dr Lisa Williams, to plan out the autism centre, which will be based within the Hollies building.
Dr Charlesworth Jones said: “The Hollies will make a perfect space for the autism centre to provide diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adults with autistic spectrum disorder that cannot be found elsewhere in the Midlands.
“Shropshire Autism Service has been working with dozens of families since its launch last year and Dr Williams is working very closely with us on the centre and what it needs to provide.”
The nursery that is currently in accommodation in The Hollies grounds will move into the historic building.
Dr Charlesworth Jones added: “The nursery will provide much-needed high quality childcare for families in Shrewsbury with plenty of outdoor space and with five children we certainly know how important that is,"
Juliet will return from maternity leave to take charge of the nursery, with plans for a forest school area and activities including French classes.
The nursery is also developing discovery evenings, designed to help parents learn more about their child’s development and how they learn.
The new HENRY initiative - Healthy Eating and Nutrition for the Really Young - will also be launched at the nursery this month.
The nursery will expand its staff team with new initiatives, including holiday clubs.