Newton Rigg College to close award-winning nursery
Last updated at 17:38, Friday, 10 February 2012
An award-winning Cumbrian nursery is to close because new leaders say it is losing money and they can no longer afford to run it.
Ten jobs will go and the parents of 57 children who attend the nursery at Newton Rigg College near Penrith must now find alternative childcare. The nursery will close in July.
Parents are invited to a meeting at 5.30pm today to receive help from Cumbria County Council. Another is scheduled to take place on February 20.
The nursery was previously known as the Early Years Centre when the Newton Rigg campus was run by the University of Cumbria.
Askham Bryan College took over most of the Newton Rigg campus in August after it clinched a deal to operate further education there following Cumbria University’s decision to concentrate on higher education.
A statement released by Newton Rigg College, as the campus is now known, said the nursery will shut at the end of the summer term.
It added that the 10 employees, some of whom are part-time, will be made redundant over the coming months.
College chiefs say letters have been sent to all parents and carers of the children affected.
A series of meetings is also being held to give parents and staff as much support as possible, the statement adds.
Liz Philip, chief executive of Askham Bryan and Newton Rigg Colleges, said: “The nursery has been operating at a financial loss for some time and while we had very much hoped to keep it open, regrettably we cannot afford to do so any longer.
“It has been a very hard decision to make but we are not immune to the difficult global economic situation and have to remain focused on our core function, which is the education of teenagers and adults in further and higher education.
“We will continue to support staff at what we appreciate is a difficult time and are helping parents find alternative nursery provision as far as we are able.
“This involves working closely with the childcare department of Cumbria County Council with a view to taking this forward as best we can, given the difficult circumstances.”
A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “While the nursery is part of Askham Bryan College, Cumbria County Council has been working closely with the college to try to find alternatives to closure.
“However, the college has now decided that closure of the nursery is the only viable option and has confirmed that it will close on July 17.
“The council will support parents and children through what may be an unsettling time.”
First published at 14:08, Friday, 10 February 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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