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Fort William nursery Stramash has hailed the contribution made to local services such as its own by families who have moved here from outside the UK.
The outdoor learning centre is working with the Scottish Government and other partners to support the #wearescotland campaign which aims to ensure that migrants to Scotland feel welcome.
‘We have had children from every continent in our nursery,’ explained Fort William team leader Cameron Sprague, who himself moved to Scotland from the United States. ‘Having families moving here from outside the UK means that we have more children and we can do more.’
Ten of the 72 children in the Fort William nursery are currently from outside the UK, from countries ranging from Chile to Hong Kong.
‘People coming from outside of the UK enable us to maintain the level and quality of local services that people here rely on,’ added Mr Sprague. ‘Across the Highlands, inward migration helps to ensure the long term future of local communities, both socially and economically.’
Based at the former BA Club in Fort William, Stramash draws children from remote areas up to an hour away for its nursery, schools programmes and holiday clubs.
Maree Todd, minister for children and young people, said: ‘Stramash is a prime example of how small, rural businesses provide not just a service to those who make Scotland their home, but often employment too. This in turn has a positive impact on the local community.’