PLANS for a new nursery with places for 120 children and creating 40 jobs has been given the go-ahead.

Located on land at Barrow Brook Business Village on the outskirts of Clitheroe off the A59, it is due to open early next year.

Cllr Stuart Hirst, leader of Ribble Valley Council, welcomed the news as a boost of job creation and working families in the borough.

The project is the brainchild of Mark Holden of Red Rose Holdings Ltd.

He already owns and runs two pre-schools in East Lancashire, Riverside Nursery in Darwen and The Hub in Buckshaw Village, Chorley.

He said: “Our aim is to create a high-quality, award-winning nursery in the Ribble Valley.

“We believe we’ve found the perfect location to do this. Our efforts turn now to getting on site and recruiting excellent staff.

“We look forward to welcoming our first children early in 2018.”

Planning permission was granted by Ribble Valley Council on March 10, for a single-storey nursery building with adjacent car parking and extensive landscaping.

It will have 120 places and create 40 full and part-time jobs for staff.

The design for the nursery features a hotel-style entrance with three wings that divide the site into three distinct areas with multiple play spaces, rather than having one big playground.

There will be an internal courtyard playground for the youngest children, two more play areas for the 2-3 year olds and a much larger playground, that wraps around the building for the eldest children.

Cllr Hirst said: “This is a very welcome addition to the area.

“It will create 40 jobs and support families where both parents work.

“It is a further part of the economic regeneration of the Ribble Valley.”

Construction work on the new nursery will begin in the summer, and the nursery is expected to be fully operational by early 2018.

Louise Leyland, from PWA Planning Consultants, said: “This development will significantly increase the supply of nursery places in the Clitheroe and Whalley."