18 March 2021
A picture of Community support brings learning outdoors in Port Glasgow

Nursery children from an Inverclyde school are getting closer to nature at playtime in a new educational outdoor area created by local developers.

The outdoor learning area at St Francis Primary and Nursery School in Port Glasgow has been brought to life by Sanctuary Scotland and Cruden Building.

The school is on the doorstep of Sanctuary Scotland’s new development of 24 affordable flats on Dubbs Road in Port Glasgow, which have been built by construction partners Cruden Building.

Funding for the play area transformation was made available by Sanctuary’s MORE! initiative, through which Cruden provided their skills and time to turn the nursery children’s dreams into a reality.   

Sanctuary’s MORE! programme sees development partners work together to add value to areas where homes are being constructed by donating skills, resources and equipment to help important local community projects.

The team from Cruden created the exciting new area by building timber bench seating, planters and troughs, a water activity wall, work benches and a new mud kitchen, with astrograss, woodchips and mulch surrounding the area.

Nursery Deputy, Carrie Murphy, said: “Thanks to this fantastic support we can fully realise the dream of this outdoor play area for pupils to safely enjoy, play and learn in.

“We consider ourselves very lucky to have had this opportunity to improve the outdoor experiences of our children here at St Francis.”

Gillian Lavety, Sanctuary’s Development Director – Scotland, added: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first residents at the 24 new affordable homes on Dubbs Road in Port Glasgow.

It is important to us that our contractors across all of our developments provide benefits for local people and this outdoor learning transformation project is a great example.

Gordon Lee, of Cruden Building, commented: “We are committed to supporting good causes in the local areas that we work in.

“We’re delighted to support this school project in partnership with Sanctuary and we hope the children have many years of fun and learning outdoors in this new play area.”

The partnership between Sanctuary and Cruden has created 19 new jobs, four new modern apprenticeships and nine work placements across the four development sites in Inverclyde.

Sanctuary is developing a total of 96 much-needed homes for social rent across Greenock and Port Glasgow, which will be managed by Sanctuary Scotland.