Renfrewshire childcare centre moves closer to net zero with eco-friendly annexe

Klas Care

A SOCIAL enterprise offering childcare support for local families in Linwood and Johnstone is one step closer to net zero with the completion of a new eco-friendly annexe, funded in part by responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS). 

The £35,000 funding package from SIS has been used by Klas Care to expand its premises in Linwood with a new eco-friendly annexe, which has allowed the centre to offer more childcare places. The new build annexe is equipped with LED lighting, an air-source heat pump, solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system – all of which have helped the centre become more sustainable while delivering significant energy savings. These savings will reduce operational costs for Klas Care and ensure that it can continue to provide affordable childcare and free places for local families who need it most.

Established in 2010, Klas Care, a community interest company, looks after around 200 children between the ages of four and eleven  per week and offers a playscheme during the school holidays as well as support sessions for parents. Due to the growing demand for local affordable childcare, there has been a long waiting list for places at both of Klas Care’s sites.

The new unit in Linwood has enabled the childcare centre to increase provision by 20% and also includes special provisions for children with additional needs such as dedicated quiet spaces and a sensory room.

The Big Lottery, Cares Scotland, and Renfrewshire Council have also supported the project.

Lesley Compston, operational director at Klas Care, said: “There is a lack of affordable childcare options in the local area, so we’re pleased that this expansion has enabled us to welcome more families in, as well as boosting our energy efficiency. The support from Social Investment Scotland has been crucial to achieving our aims.

“We’re now up and running in our new hub and it’s great to see the children also engaged in learning about sustainability and climate change – they are curious to know more about the underfloor heating and big heat pump box outside in the playground. The next step on our journey to net zero is to look at retrofitting works for the original building which was built in the 1960s and the addition of EV charging facilities for staff and customers.”

Chris Jamieson, head of investments at Social Investment Scotland, added: “Klas Care is already delivering a significant positive impact for people in the Renfrewshire area and we’re very pleased to help them increase this impact by offering more provision locally while also taking care to minimise its carbon footprint.

“Ensuring access to high-quality and inclusive childcare, supported by community and social enterprises, is crucial for building a wellbeing economy in Scotland and enabling all families to thrive. By providing access to affordable finance, SIS is championing organisations that prioritise environmental and social impact within their communities.”

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