A Laindon pre-school that was forced to relocate after a fire has returned to take up residence in the extension of the newly refurbished Bluehouse Community Centre.
Busy Bees Pre-School previously operated out of Markhams Chase Play Centre which adjoined Bluehouse Community Centre, in Laindon, and was destroyed by fire on Sunday February 16, 2014.
Basildon Council has extended Bluehouse Community Centre to accommodate Busy Bees with the help of the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Maintenance Trust, which provided £325,000 of funding towards the build costs.
Vice Chairman of the Housing and Communities Committee and ward councillor for Lee Chapel North Councillor Andrew Gordon said: “This has been a long and complicated process but officers have shown real determination in getting this refurbishment over the line.
“I am pleased that Busy Bees have returned and wish all those who use this community centre all the best for the future. I would also like to thank the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Maintenance Trust and the Bluehouse committee for their support on this project.
Busy Bees office manager Tracy Hill said: “We are looking forward to running our pre-school from our new place and working closely with the Bluehouse. We are excited about having a garden as for the five years we have had no outside space.
“It’s been a long five years since the fire destroyed our old building but with support of our parents, Asda, who have kindly donated new outside toys as well as staff and Basildon Council, Busy Bees are back where we belong.”
Bluehouse Farm Community Centre Chairman Rick Clowes added: “It’s been a long hard tiring road for everybody involved getting this new playschool up to the standards needed to safeguard the future of the next generation after the devastating fire six years ago. I hope the new facilities will benefit everyone involved for many years to come.”