THE old Wiltshire College campus in Devizes, which was put on the market last year, has been bought by a children's nursery which is to move after more than 30 years.

Heathcote House Nursery and Pre-School is to move from Southbroom Road just a few yards round the corner to the old college building next to the leisure centre.

Owner Keith Hudson said: "We will open there on April 8. It means that Heathcote has saved the former college site for the use of Devizes pre-school children for the foreseeable future.

"We have operated from its present location for over 30 years and slowly grown to accommodate up to 65 children, many of whom qualify for the current government support."

Wiltshire College caused upset in Devizes last July when it announced the campus in the town was to close and no courses would run after Christmas 2018. A number of people spoke out about the impact it would have especially on those adults wanting to improve their basic English and maths and without transport to get to other college sites.

College principal Amanda Burnside said the closures in Devizes and Warminster were essential to allow it to maintain its courses in bigger centres. She said: "By relocating our part-time provision, we are opening up new possibilities for our students.

“Students will be able to use the learning resource centres, canteens and common rooms as well as other onsite student facilities.

“They will also be able to access improved progression opportunities to continue their learning.

“We are very keen to maintain the breadth of part-time offer the College has and see this move as a way of being able to sustain and retain this important provision for the future.”

But now new life is being breathed back into the building by Keith and his wife Jean. They said: "We felt move now to custom built premises, surrounded by grounds containing many mature trees, hard surface play area, and dedicated drop-off/pick-up parking for parents who need it, would be very beneficial to the nursery as a whole, and that purchase of the old college site provided just the opportunity."

Co principal Stephanie Hall is to develop a Forest School programme to make the most of the outdoor space.

Mr Hudson said: "We will all be a little sad to leave our current beautiful building, but the enthusiastic Heathcote staff will quickly create the same homely welcoming atmosphere in our new abode, & will not miss the rather temperamental nature of some of our current equipment, or the difficult parking for parents."

An official opening is planned for the summer.