Mum plans new nursery for Harbury

A Warwick Gates mum is hoping to take over a former pub in Harbury and open a new nursery.

Lucy Nealon, whose two-year-old daughter Millie attends what used to be a Banana Moon nursery in Leamington, wants to run the business as a franchise at the building currently occupied by the Dog Inn.

The 36-year-old, who worked at market research firm Millward Brown before she started a family, said: “This is something I am very passionate about. I grew up in Harbury and my parents still live here so I am still very much involved in the village. My family and I love it here.

“The Dog Inn is a very iconic building in the village. We could have had a purpose-built nursery, but we wanted it to have a family feeling.

“At the moment the building is in a pretty awful state. It has been closed for around nine months and needs work doing on it. But it’s a beautiful building right in the middle of the village.”

Mrs Nealon, whose husband Duncan runs the Bendigo Mitchell forklift truck firm in Kenilworth, said her nursery would be offering something different to the childcare already available in Harbury as it would be open from 7.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays so parents can fit their childcare arrangements around their working day.

The nursery - which would take on around 13 staff - would be open for 51 weeks of the year and have the capacity to enroll 50 babies and toddlers aged from 12 weeks to four years.

In reaction to Mrs Nealon’s plans, which have been submitted to Stratford District Council, Windmills Nursery in Harbury and Harbury Pre School submitted the following statement: “There are already two excellent childcare provisions, both with outstanding areas as noted by Ofsted, within our village, which have both been established for over 40 years. Both are non-profit making charity organisations.

“Despite the fact that the proposed new franchise could possibly be opening in Harbury, both Windmills and Harbury Pre School would like to reassure the community of their strong intentions to continue to provide outstanding, high levels of loyal care and early years education.”