A CRUMBLING nursery has been presented with a new purpose-built home thanks to the help of a billionaire philanthropist.
Food tycoon Alastair Salvesen MBE has offered his support to the FetLor Youth Club and Crewe Toll Nursery in a bid to Provide them with better facilities.
Until recently, the two groups had occupied the same building at Crewe Road South, which wad falling apart.
A new nursery has now been built within the same grounds and efforts are continuing to rebuild FetLor’s club house – a wooden hut constructed in the early 1960s, which has become an eyesore in recent years. Andrew Barrie, chairman of the management team, said: “The kids absolutely love the centre – it’s been a real issue with them thinking that it’s not going to be there any more.
“To people passing by, the centre is an eyesore, but as with any building it’s about more than what you see on the outside.
“In the future we want to be more ambitious and build something that’s more appropriate for the 21st century.
“The number of kids who come along to the centre is growing and we want to create a centre that’s open all day, allowing us to work with children who are past school age.”
So far, the management team has raised more than £700,000 towards the £2 million it will cost to build the new centre and nursery.
Around 300 people, including youth club members, themselves – have contributed to the fundraising.
The contribution from Mr Salveson, who grew up in Midlothian and is the owner of Dawnfresh Seafoods, is the latest in a series of charitable donations undertaken throughout his career. In 1988, he began a scholarship fund for artists, supported by his charitable trust, which funds young Scottish artists to travel abroad.
He also supported the Dovecot Studios, which specialise in Scottish tapestry and were saved from closure in 2001.
Nursery manager Lorraine Menzies said: “There had been plans to refurbish the building, but it wasn’t going to work. The management always said if they were going to knock it down they would provide me with somewhere else and they’ve kept that promise.
“The rent I provide the youth centre with pays for its activities, it’s a great facility for the community.
“Now I have the new nursery, I can take on another ten children – I’m so grateful to everyone for everything they’ve done.” FetLor was set up more than 80 years ago to provide services for some of the city’s poorest boys.
Today, the club prides itself on providing a neutral ground in an area where many youths have a territorial attitude.
More than 100 active members between the ages of ten and 17 visit the project several times a week.