Nursery will close despite bid by parents

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Parents were this week told that Westbourne House Day Nursery is to close next month after weeks of speculation over its future.

The business had become “increasingly challenging to manage in the current commercial climate”, owners CfBT Education Trust said in July.

CfBT, who have owned the nursery since 2001, put Westbourne House on the market 18 months ago, but the nursery, based in a Grade 2 listed building in Cannon Hill, Westbourne Road, had no serious interest from buyers.

A group of parents set up a campaign group in a bid to save the nursery from closure.

And they were given news that a potential buyer had been found for the property just weeks ago.

However, they were told this week that the nursery will close at the end of September.

Joe Lowe, whose son Oliver attends the nursery, said: “This will displace dozens of children, cost more than 20 nursery staff jobs and the knock-on effect to some parents who depend on this special place is incalculable.

“However, although we have lost the fight to save the nursery we intend to take CfBT’s incompetence much further and we are reporting them to the Charities Commission for a string of woeful failings.”

CfBT head of contracts Carol Glover said: “I know that this is unwelcome and upsetting news for the remaining parents, staff and the consortium partners who were looking to purchase the nursery.

“However, despite a significant and lengthy effort to consult with parents, staff and other interested parties on alternatives to closure we have been unable to secure a proposal which satisfies our obligations to obtain best value for the charity.

“Our trustees considered at length and in great detail the proposal presented by the consortium but agreed unanimously that closure of the nursery and sale of the property was the only option in the best interests of the wider charity.”