WORK is ready to start on a new £3 million nursery in Larkfield.

The state-of-the-art early learning centre is part of a major pre-five expansion programme and will cater for 100 children.

Contractors will be on site in Stafford Road from next week as Inverclyde Council teams up once again with developers Hub West Scotland.

The partnership is also delivering the Rainbow Family Centre extension in Port Glasgow.

From this year free early year learning and childcare has doubled to over 1,100 hours, with investment being made in five schools, six children centres and two nurseries to boost capacity.

Education convenor Councillor Jim Clocherty said: "We already have some of the best educational facilities in the country here in Inverclyde thanks to the council’s unprecedented investment in primary, secondary and early years buildings in recent years.

“That investment is continuing with the creation of a brand new nursery for children and families in the Larkfield area and I’m delighted that we’ve reached a key milestone in this project.

“We want to make sure all our young people have the best possible start to life and to their education and a new, high-quality nursery environment will help towards that.”

Iain Marley, chief executive of hub West Scotland, added: “We are proud to partner with Inverclyde Council and manage the delivery of this important investment which will provide very high quality indoor and outdoor learning facilities.”

The new early years learning centre is designed by architects Holmes Miller, civil and structural engineers Baker Hicks and mechanical and electrical engineers Hawthorne Boyle.

It will be built in two phases with the new build being followed by the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Primary School building, with the area reinstated to landscaping.

The construction work will be carried out by CCG Scotland Limited.

The company's David Wylie said: “We are delighted to achieve financial close status on Larkfield Early Learning Centre, our second early years centre in as many months.

“Working with our partners Inverclyde Council and hub West Scotland, CCG will continue to deliver a high-quality learning environment for young people across the local authority and we look forward to commencing works.”