A WOMAN who set up the Borders' first purpose-built nursery in Peebles says the "time felt right" to sell the facility.

Kingsmeadows Nursery was established in 2000 by Mary-Jane Parker.

But it has been purchased by Bright Stars, which now owns 87 settings in the UK, 16 of which are in Scotland.

On the sale, Ms Parker said it was an "incredibly difficult decision" but added that it felt as though her 'baby had come of age'.

“I started planning for the nursery in 1998, eventually managing to acquire land and have the setting purpose-built, in fact it was the first purpose-built nursery to ever open in the Scottish Borders, in May 2000," she said.

“We were registered for 49 children at that time, and have expanded several times to our current registration capacity of 94 children.

“Over the years, we had the pleasure of caring for almost 2,000 children from over 1,000 families."

She added: "I decided to sell as the time felt right; we have a robust staff and management team in place; it feels as though my ‘baby’ has now come of age, so it is time for me to very carefully hand on the responsibility.

“It has been an incredibly difficult decision for me, as I care so passionately about Kingsmeadows, however I am excited for the future as I believe the opportunities for the setting which arise as being part of the Bright Stars group will build even further on what I have managed to establish during my time in charge.

“I wish all of the staff and customers the very best as they move forward and I will miss everyone, most especially all of the children.”

Kingsmeadows has become a well-established and highly regarded children’s day nursery and out-of-school care facility.

Kirsty Ibbott, mergers and acquisition director at Bright Stars, said: “Mary-Jane has built a fantastic nursery with an exceptional team over the past 22+ years.

“Her commitment to outstanding childcare has been obvious throughout the sale process and evident within the nursery setting.

“We are pleased to have added such a well-established nursery to our Scottish region, and we look forward to working with the team, parents, and their children as we build on from the legacy of Mary-Jane whilst ensuring that, like all our nurseries, we maintain its local identity in the community.”