PREPARATORY work is to begin later this month (March) on the build of Aberdeen’s first outdoor nursery.
Robertson Construction Eastern will lead the Aberdeen City Council project, which will see the build of the new outdoor learning setting at Duthie Park.
The £1.4 million development will see the redevelopment of the park’s East Lodge, to allow for indoor teaching in case of adverse weather. The local authority anticipates that all work will be completed in the summer.
Outdoor nurseries are championed, in particular, by Scandinavian countries because of the benefits learning outdoor has on children. Practitioners in Aberdeen have already collaborated with similar settings in Spain in preparation for the concept coming to the city.
The council said that the development at Duthie Park is viewed as an important part of its wider city strategy, as it aims to enhance physical, emotional wellbeing and social development.
The facility will act as a pilot project for the local authority and form part of its wider £23 million investment in early learning facilities across the city, as it prepares for an increase in early learning and childcare hours for children.
Gordon Milne, managing director, Robertson Construction Eastern, commented, “The introduction of the city’s first outdoor nursery further illustrates Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to provide first class learning environments for pre-school children. We are proud to be the contractor of choice for the delivery of this important project and look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Council.”
David Halliday, managing director of Halliday Fraser Munro who designed the facility, added, “Working with local communities in the Aberdeen area plays a huge role in our organisation and having already successfully delivered a number of facilities for Aberdeen City Council, we are delighted to be marking the start of the next adventure on Duthie Park later this month.
Councillor Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, commented,“We have undertaken an extensive study on the benefits of outdoor, play-based learning and we are now ready to apply this learning in Aberdeen and ensure our young children reap the rewards.
“We are delighted to see so many of our new ELC settings coming onstream and we are proud of our infrastructure investment. Innovation is every bit as important and the Duthie Park is the perfect location to focus on for our pilot project. Hazlehead Park will also see an ELC outdoor learning setting as we look to utilise our wonderful greenspaces to offer more new and exciting options for parents and children.”