Cessnock Kids Preschool and Early Learning Centre opens in former Soldiers Memorial Hall

The former Soldiers Memorial Hall in Vincent Street has been given a new purpose.

Cessnock Kids Preschool and Early Learning Centre opened in the hall on November 20 after months of tireless work to restore the heritage-listed building.

The building was originally an RSL memorial hall, erected in 1922 on Crown Land made available by the State Government.

The Cessnock RSL sub-branch was granted use of a room and eventually bought the property in 1959.

The property was sold in 1982 to the then-Northern Mineworkers Credit Union, which became Companion Credit Union.

The credit union (now Beyond Bank) moved out in 2012, and apart from being used as a returning office in the 2015 state election, the iconic building has sat unused until now.

The building in its early days. Picture: Coalfields Heritage Group

The building in its early days. Picture: Coalfields Heritage Group

After almost two years of planning, the family-owned and operated preschool and early learning centre is now up and running.

Approved provider Erin Adney said the building perfectly suited their needs, with its large rooms, car park and outdoor area.

Her daughter, centre director Melissa Adney said a lot of care has been taken to respect the heritage of the building, retaining the facade, using prescribed colour schemes and making a feature of the exposed beams on the top floor.

White picket fences have been installed at the front for privacy; two outdoor playgrounds have been constructed, and safe and secure entry is via Cumberland Street only.

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