Joy as Arundel’s only nursery is saved closure

Nursery staff and pupils celebrate the news Photo by Derek Martin DM1506447a
Nursery staff and pupils celebrate the news Photo by Derek Martin DM1506447a
  • For month’s Arundel’s only nursery has been under threat of closing
  • Owners have desperately been seeking a new base for the institution
  • St Philip’s Catholic Primary School has now come to the rescue, agreeing to house the nursery

ARUNDEL’S only nursery has been saved from the threat of closure.

For more than a year, the future of the Learning Tree Nursery had been in jeopardy.

“We are really excited to be given this opportunity to continue to provide a vital service for the families of Arundel.”

The centre had been involved in a long-running dispute with the Arundel Youth Club over whether or not it could continue to operate from the club’s site, in Surrey Street.

However, this week it has been revealed that the nursery has now secured a new home in the town at St Philip’s Catholic Primary School, in London Road.

The move has since been welcomed by Arundel mayor James Stewart who said: “The town council has been concerned for some time about the continuity of child care provision in Arundel, and acknowledge the worry that the uncertainty of the last few months has caused many parents in the town.

“So, I am delighted that The Learning Tree will be moving to their new home at St Philip’s Catholic Primary School later this year.”

The funds for the development work have been made available by the diocese and West Sussex County Council.

The nursery has made an application to Ofsted to register the new facility and is awaiting a confirmation for a September launch date.

Lucy Horne, head teacher of St Philip’s, was thrilled by the alliance.

She said: “It will mean that many of our families will have access to child care from babies of four months to children aged 11.

“It also means that families using the Learning Tree from both Arundel C of E and from St Philip’s for before and after school care can continue to benefit from a venue within the town.”

The nursery’s plight had gained wide-spread attention over social media and even saw local politicians and Arundel and South Downs MP, Nick Herbert, getting involved.

During a visit to the site in April, Mr Herbert described it as a ‘brilliant example of a really popular and important service for hard-working local parents’.

Carolyn Henton, nursery’s owner and manager, was overjoyed with the solution, which will hopefully wipe away months of uncertainty. She said: “We are really excited to be given this opportunity to continue to provide a vital service for the families of Arundel.”

Parents keen to enrol their children into the nursery are being urged to contact Carolyn Henton by emailing a.henton@sky.com

Those interested in enrolling their children into St Philip’s should call the school’s reception on 01903 882115 or office@st-philips.w-sussex.sch.uk

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