Government and charity partnership
The nursery will be predominantly based outdoors in the glen – a first for the Island.
Susie Cox, of The Children's Centre, said: 'The nursery will offer an exciting and unique proposition – aiming for the children to spend 80 per cent of their time outside in the beautiful setting of the glen, learning about the world through play, exploration and challenge.
The glen will be developed to provide play opportunities for children and families, too. Said Susie: 'The trees, river, glades and secret spaces provide opportunities for all kinds of learning and adventure and we have many exciting ideas about how to use the glen.'
An adaptable function space accommodates 200 people, making it one of the largest on the Island. It will be rejuvenated and will host events organised by The Children's Centre and hired out to the public.
The café will be an offshoot of Noa Bakehouse's thriving premises in Fort Street, Douglas. The business uses as much Manx produce as possible, in line with DEFA's strategy to grow the local food and drink industry.
Susie, who is Venue and Events Manager for the Pavilion, said: 'Our main objective will be to run it as a social enterprise and turn the profits made back into The Children's Centre's charitable work.
'The site will complement and enhance what is already on offer in Laxey and we'll work with traders and invest in the community.
'Our partnership with Noa Bakehouse is exciting. It's a dynamic, innovative brand and its beliefs are firmly rooted in the community, an ethos that complements ours.'
She said: 'DEFA has awarded the charity a very real opportunity and one that will benefit The Children's Centre for many years to come. It's an inspiring prospect for everyone involved.'
Zac Hall MHK, Member of DEFA for Forestry, Amenity and Lands, said the innovative new use of the Pavilion would encourage people to enjoy the outdoors.
'We are delighted to be able to work with The Children's Centre to deliver a different opportunity at this lovely venue.
'The unique approach of the forest school idea, successfully employed elsewhere, will encourage young people to use, love and respect the countryside.
'The benefits in learning and health are well proven and we should all be making the most of our wonderful resources to keep healthy and stimulated.
'Teaming up with The Children's Centre creates a wonderful opportunity for a wide range of the population.'