An Aberdeen nursery hopes to create more social distancing space for children by refurbishing the staff canteen of a French oil and gas giant.
The Bridges Nursery, based at Silverburn Lodges in Bridge of Don, has filed a planning application to repurpose Total’s former dining and conference area at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park in Bridge of Don.
The proposal to Aberdeen City Council would allow the nursery to increase space for social distancing for both children and staff.
Nursery bosses said they don’t immediately plan to increase the number of staff or children, but added that the new space could accommodate around 90 additional children and 12 staff.
The nursery currently has space for around 100 children.
Lois Mogford, managing director of The Bridges Nursery, said: “What we’re looking to do is have more space per child to accommodate the protocols for separating children into groups due to the pandemic.
“There’s also housing being proposed next door and on the site of the old Aberdeen Exhibition Centre site, so that would change the dynamic of the area.
“We foresee that in four or five years’ time the nursery might grow, but in the meantime we saw this as a possibility to use more space and make it easier for our staff to separate the children – but also that it would be better to have a bigger facility for everyone.”
The former Total canteen and conference area was acquired by The Bridges Nursery in 2004 and leased out to a number of smaller oil and gas companies.
However, the space has failed to attract new tenants over the last year.
The Bridges Nursery Bridge of Don site was opened by Princess Anne in 2007.
Councillor, John Reynolds said: “Nurseries are few and far between in Bridge of Don and one that is going to go out of its way to create social distancing without increasing the number of kids is vitally important.
“A lot of the nurseries that we have throughout the city are not equipped for social distancing and they have had a number of problems and this is a way forward as far as this particular nursery is concerned.”