We present a computational model of metabolism in the preterm neonatal brain. The model has the capacity to mimic haemodynamic and metabolic changes during functional activation and simulate functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) data. As an initial test of the model's efficacy, we simulate data obtained from published studies investigating functional activity in preterm neonates. In addition we simulated recently collected data from preterm neonates during visual activation. The model is well able to predict the haemodynamic and metabolic changes from these observations. In particular, we found that changes in cerebral blood flow and blood pressure may account for the observed variability of the magnitude and sign of stimulus-evoked haemodynamic changes reported in preterm infants.