A former library has been transformed into a safe haven for children – and created jobs.
South Shields businessman Eamon Gribben has opened up his fifth nursery.
Harton Village Kindergarten features soft play, a sensory room, and a cafe.
The nursery, in Sunderland Road, South Shields, is open for business after Mr Gribben spent £1.9million transforming it.
He said: “It was a library that was originally donated by a doctor for the community.
“The council agreed to sell it to me so that I could make it into affordable childcare for parents in the community and to create new jobs.
“It’s got soft play, a coffee shop, and we offer before and after school care for children up to eight as well, so we can do the school runs while the parents are at work and they can come to collect them once they’ve finished.
“We have a sensory room for young babies as well, and a training room so that we can take on our own apprentices and train them in-house.”
Mr Gribben has four other nurseries under his company, the Early Learning Partnership.
He also owns Bede Burn Kindergarten, Westoe Village Kindergarten, and West Park Kindergarten, in South Tyneside, as well as a site in Rothbury.
He added: “This is an AAA-rated building, which is the highest efficiency rating you can get. I opened nurseries because I wanted to do something that I felt was worthwhile and would serve other people.
“We’re also recruiting at the minute. We have six vacancies at Harton Village and 12 at our other nurseries.
“We’re looking for nursery nurses and senior nursery nurses.”
To find out how to apply for a job, call the nursery on 0191 456 6314.