Fairhills new home gets top marks!

A pre-school community group that faced possible closure can look forward to a bright future thanks to a major partnership funding initiative from local organisations – including Hamilton Davies Trust (HDT).

Fairhills has been providing pre-school support in Irlam for more than forty years, with over 40 young children currently attending.

Despite excellent testimonies from parents, Fairhills had to find a new home before November due to the lease on their old premises coming to an end and they were looking for a building that was more appropriate to their needs.


Salford City Council offered alternative accommodation at the old childrens centre, but the building needed substantial refurbishment work that Fairhills could not afford.

Mandy Coleman, Consultant General Manager at HDT explained: “Community leaders agreed that it would have been a big loss to the community so Fairhills asked us to provide the shortfall, which amounted to about 57% of the total cost.

“HDT and the Rotary Club of Irlam then worked with Fairhills to revise the scope of the refurbishment, resulting in a more appropriate design and a lower cost. Meanwhile, Salford City Council helped by taking a flexible approach to terms of the lease.”

We agreed to provide a grant of £3,500 plus a £15,000 loan toward the renovation programme, while further financial support came from the Rotary, and the Community Committee, who provided £4,000 each, as well as a donation of £1,000 from Reward and Recycle.

Fairhills pre-school also contributed to the refurbishment costs in what was an impressive demonstration of partnering within the local community.

Mandy added: “This valuable community resource has been kept alive for current families and future generations thanks to a huge level of support from many different parties.

“Everyone involved worked unstintingly, but special thanks must go to Councillor John Walsh and Anne Godding from the Community Committee who have worked particularly hard to raise awareness that support was required.”

The renovation of their new home is now complete and has also passed its Ofsted inspection with flying colours!

Peter Blay, President of the Rotary Club of Irlam said: “The Rotary Club of Irlam was pleased to support Fairhills pre-school with their move to new premises in Fiddlers Lane with a donation of £4,000. They had outgrown their previous premises at Preston Hall which they shared with other groups. Having their own premises will allow them to expand and provide much needed child provision in the community.”

Hayley O’Connor, Fairhills pre-school Manager said: “It’s unbelievable how far we have come, from being told in February 2016 that we no longer had a base for our pre-school, to 9 months later having a beautiful building we can now call our home!”

“We will never forget the day Councillor Walsh knocked on the door to tell us the news that he had found us a new home! And we could never have achieved any of this without the support of Hamilton Davies Trust, the Rotary and Salford’s devolved budget. This isn’t forgetting the past and present parents whose children have come to Fairhills and the staff who have all stuck together to fight for something we all genuinely felt Irlam and Cadishead needed.”

“We are so happy to see the children settle in to our new home – a building which has been transformed in to something we had all dreamt of.”

Posted on: 13th February 2017