A council-funded pre-school is due to open soon.

Former childminder Claire Micallef was given £100,000 from Essex County Council to combat a shortfall of nursery places in Witham.

Mini Marvels Nursery is due to open on March 2 at Witham Rugby Club in Spa Road, where builders have refurbished the hall and built an extension.

It will cater for 28 children aged two to four. About ten have already signed up to attend between now and next year.

Council officials and MP Priti Patel were among the visitors to see how building work has progressed.