WINCHESTER schoolchildren celebrated at the opening of a new nursery when it opened at The Westgate School two weeks ago.

Children, parents, staff members and politicians gathered together to witness the launch of the new Rotherly Day Nursery on December 13.

A special plaque was unveiled surrounded by tiles printed with children’s painted hands and celebrations were marked with the arrival of the children's favourite TV character, Peppa Pig.

The new nursery contains specialist play rooms and a landscaped garden.

Rotherly House, previously occupied by the nursery, is now being remodelled as part of the new ‘Westgate All Through’ school - an expansion that will create Hampshire’s first all through education facility for students aged four to 16.

Leader of Hampshire County Council Councillor Roy Perry said: “It gives me great pleasure to formally declare the new home of The Rotherly Nursery open. This is a wonderful purpose-built facility which has been designed to meet the needs of the children in the nursery’s care.

“This marks completion of the first phase of work to develop The Westgate School site providing child care for the under fives, and primary and secondary education for children from age four and up.”

Development at The Westgate School will create an additional 420 primary school places, in response to growing numbers in the Winchester area, which are set to be on offer in September 2014.