St Leonards nursery faces closure unless it can find a new home

Staff, children and parents at the nursery SUS-180310-123623001
Staff, children and parents at the nursery SUS-180310-123623001

A nursery faces closure unless it can find a new home before the end of the year.

West St Leonards Early Years Centre, based within the grounds of West St Leonards Primary Academy, has unsuccessfully tried to find alternative premises after its lease on its current site expired at the end of July this year.

Kathryn Dixson, nursery manager, said: “The nursery has been providing valuable quality nursery provision for families in the West St Leonards area for 20 years by leasing space within the primary academy.

“But sadly due to the ever-increasing demands in education the academy has decided to invoke the break clause, which means by the end of December we have to vacate the premises.

“Throughout the past year-and-a-half we have been actively searching for new premises to purchase to relocate the nursery which has proven to be a very complex process.

“Just recently we have been advised by the Health and Safety Executive that due to the proximity of a property along Harley Shute Road to the gas works at Fresh Fields and the gas storage tanks situated on Combe Haven, they will not allow us to use the property as a nursery.

“This is now sadly the second property we have unsuccessfully been able to gain permission for change of use.

“Therefore our only option now is to try and relocate the nursery in temporary accommodation while we continue to search for a permanent premises to enable us to continue providing provision for our families as a short-term solution.”

The University of Brighton Academies Trust confirmed the lease for the building used by West St Leonards Early Years Centre ended on July 31.

A spokesman said: “The building is attached to West St Leonards Primary Academy and it is our intention to utilise the facility to enhance the learning environment for our pupils.

“That said, in June the centre asked us for an extension as its new premises were not immediately available, and we were pleased to support the nursery and ensure the continuation of high quality early years provision for the community by agreeing to allow them to remain in the building until the end of December.”

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