A NURSERY owner is preparing for a double celebration after she achieved a distinction in a masters degree course - 25 years after setting up her early years business.

Janet Lomax-Baker set up the Croft House Nursery in Bridge Street, Horwich, in 1989 and she and her staff members are preparing to throw a party to celebrate the centre’s 25th anniversary at the end of August.

The mother-of-three will also be celebrating achieving a distinction in a Masters course in early years management from Lancaster University.

Mrs Lomax-Baker, who lives in Stapleton Avenue, Heaton, had been an early years teacher before starting the nursery, which two of her three children attended.

She and her family lived at the Bridge Street site and built an extension to house the nursery, which has expanded over the years.

The birthday celebrations will take place on August 30 at the centre, from 11am to 3pm, and staff want to ask anyone who has had involvement with Croft House over the years to come along and share their memories.

There will be fun activities, entertainment and food on the day.

Mrs Lomax-Baker said: “It would be really fantastic to see a lot of old faces on the day.

“We have met so many great people over the years. Whether they were children who came here, parents or staff, we would love to see them and hear their memories of Croft House.”

Speaking about her decision to complete a masters degree after 25 years in the industry, she said: “I needed a new challenge and this was all about self-improvement.

“The whole course was an absolute pleasure to complete.

“I did it for myself, as a personal achievement and I was shocked to get a distinction. It was fantastic.”