A NEW day nursery is ready to welcome youngsters after opening in Hexham.

Apple Blossom Nursery has taken over a unit on Haugh Lane, giving families in Tynedale more choice for where to send their children before school.

One of the directors, Christian Balmer, explained: “We own a chain of children’s day nurseries, with three in Sunderland and one in Alnwick. I live in Wark and I had passed this building and thought it would be ideal as a children’s day nursery.

“There is an opportunity in Hexham for this, particularly at this side of the town because the other two day nurseries are at the other end of the town, and this is ideally positioned for the A69.”

They have already received pre-registrations for children to start in January, but Christian said families could register their children to begin earlier.

The nursery, which accepts children from six weeks old to five years old, was officially opened by Hexham’s sitting MP Guy Opperman last week.

It has a garden to the back of the building which will allow for outdoors activities, and a section for youngsters to also plant their own vegetables. With 38 spaces, Christian described it as small and intimate, and it is split into areas designed to suit each age group

Christian added: “We will also have a holiday club out of term-time for potentially older siblings, as we can take anyone up to seven years and 11 months.

“Sometimes parents with older children can find it difficult during the holidays and this will help them to keep the siblings together.”

The unit was previous occupied for dementia care, and before that for a base for sweet treat business, the Pudding Parlour.

It has required a make-over and Apple Blossom Nursery has already brought nursery nurse Amy Mckeever on board, who has been helping to get it up and running ready for the children arriving, with more staff to come as the number of children grows.