Rebecca Wayman

North East business duo transform derelict Northumberland building into nursery

A former farm building in Northumberland has been transformed into a nursery by two North East businesswomen.

Lindsey Oliver and Laura Graham have completed the renovation of the Whitehouse Farm Centre’s disused building in Morpeth to provide nursery provision for up to 48 children.

The completion of the project supported by the corporate and property teams at Ward Hadaway is the culmination of the parental vision to create a safe, nurturing, home-from- home environment that encourages learning for those between six weeks and five-years-old.

It was during a chance conversation between friends Lindsey and Laura that the idea of combining their years of early childcare experience and running a business was born. The co-owners of the nursery at Whitehouse Farm loved the idea of being their own bosses.

Laura - mum to five-year-old Isabelle - took a leap in the venture whilst working in marketing for a large regional company. She said: “We had a vision when we saw the building and knew with some TLC it could be transformed into an amazing place for families and children.

“Its location is perfect as it is situated within the Whitehouse Farm Centre itself, which is an amazing place to spend a day with children. With frequent access into the farm and acres of land to explore, our ability to learn and enjoy the great outdoors are endless.

“We are particularly grateful to James [Nightingale at Ward Hadaway] whose understanding of our requirements and knowledge helped guide us through the legal aspects of creating our vision for the nursery.”

For Lindsey - a mum to five-year-old twin girls, Maisie and Yasmin - it was a step motivated by a passion for early childcare that spurred her on to get involved in the new venture.

She added: “Our overriding philosophy is that nursery provision is not just about the children. It’s also about the parents who tend to put themselves last.

“So while the children are safe and nurtured which adds to their development, we also know parents need to find time for themselves in their busy schedule and so we are providing them with grab-and-go breakfasts and teas.

“We understand what it’s like to be parents and how hard it is when leaving your children to be cared by someone else.”

The nursery includes a baby room, toddler room, preschool room, kitchen area and outdoor area. There is also a ‘magical forest’ area and Whitehouse Farm on the doorstep, too.

James Nightingale, partner in the corporate team at Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway, also said: “We were delighted to help Lindsey and Laura during this exciting time in establishing the new nursery.

“The sector is one which we know well having acted historically for a number of clients, including advising on the sale of Kids 1st to the UK’s largest nursery provider, Busy Bees.

“The nursery at Whitehouse Farm will be a fantastic addition to nursery care in Northumberland and we look forward to continuing to work with Lindsey and Laura as they continue to grow the business in the coming years.”

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