Posted: Mon 14th Mar 2016

Gurnos Centre Firmly Back At The Heart Of The Community /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 14th, 2016

The Gurnos Centre is now firmly back at the heart of the local community, having re-opened its doors as a Flying Start early years facility. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, officially unveiled the new-look centre on Thursday 10th March following a £500,000 refurbishment, which was funded by the Welsh Government Flying Start Programme and Merthyr Valley Homes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This welcome investment in to the local community will provide more than 50 part-time pre-school places for children aged 2-3 years, as well as an onsite crèche and sensory room. The centre also has training rooms, where parents can access support in the way of parenting sessions, early language development sessions, health-based programmes such as baby massage and also support to secure training and employment; as well as an enhanced health visiting service and activities designed to help children to learn to talk. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Leader, Councillor Brendan Toomey, said: “Flying Start is about offering young children and their families the best possible start in life. The new Centre is ideally placed in the heart of the Gurnos Community and will provide services for parents to ensure they are well supported to offer the best opportunities for their children to flourish. The Centre will also be a place where children are able to access quality play and learning experiences in a stimulating indoor and outdoor environment”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said: “The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to giving children the best possible start in life and making childcare available to parents so they can go to work or learn new skills. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This is why we have provided more than £1.5 million over four years for Flying Start in Merthyr Tydfil. This significant investment means more than 1,300 local children and their families are now benefitting from the flagship scheme this year alone. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Chief Executive of Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust, Richard Marsh, said: “Gurnos Community Centre continues to be a great resource for local residents and the wider County Borough. We are delighted to see it reopen and encourage people to make full use of the impressive facilities on offer.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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