Safety fears could force Edinburgh nursery to move

By Kati Rawlins

An Edinburgh nursery housed on the top floor of a seven-storey block faces being moved as councillors debate safety concerns over its fire evacuation routes.

Westfield Court Nursery, in the west end of Edinburgh, has already been scrutinised by Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, along with health and safety staff. City councillors will decide on Tuesday whether to transfer its 25 pupils to two alternative nurseries by next month. If councillors agree to the move, officers will prepare a report on options for the nursery’s longer term future.

City education leader Councillor Marilyne MacLaren said: “Because of its situation, Westfield Court Nursery has been subject to special health and safety reviews for some time now.  After each review we make adaptations and improvements to the building and to its safety procedures.”

Concerns remain even after modifications to the building and the nursery’s evacuation procedures.

MacLaren added: “There is nothing more we can do at this stage to address the fire risk associated with getting a large number of small children down seven flights of stairs from the top floor of the block. The only option open to our health and safety officers has been to recommend a decant to other nursery facilities.”

Places are available at Tynecastle and Calderglen nurseries for the pupils of Westfield Court Nursery, whose carers would move with them.

Cllr MacLaren  described Tynecastle and Calderglen nurseries as “of the highest quality – children can expect a warm welcome and an excellent early years education”.