Eleventh hour buy-out saves nursery threatened with closure in Yorkshire village

A nursery which had been set to close in a village in South Yorkshire has been saved after an 11th hour takeover.

Pollywiggle Day Nursery, at Station Road, Treeton, has been saved by a last minute buy-out

Pollywiggle Day Nursery announced this week it was closing two of its premises in Treeton and North Anston, just days before the end of the summer holidays.

But today it was confirmed that the site on Station Road, Treeton, was being taken over by the national chain Welcome Nurseries, which is run by a woman from South Yorkshire, after she heard about its closure in The Star.It means the seven jobs at the site are saved, along with the 34 children’s places.

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It follows the news yesterday that the North Anston site has also been saved by a separate buyout.

Parents had been informed in an email on Wednesday night that the nursery was to close leaving many of them faced with trying to find alternatives less than a fortnight before the end of the school holidays.

Pollywiggle business director Kirsty Hanberry said she took the “painful” decision in the wake of financial difficulties brought on by Covid as well as her own health, while saying the nursery sector is in “crisis”.

Welcome Nurseries director Linda Cuddy, from Barnsley, said: “When I saw the report in the Star, we bought it from the previous owner.

"This will save parents from not being able to go back to work because they can’t get childcare.

"My heart went out to the owner, who has been running it for 11 years.

"To remove a nursery from a community would have devastating consequences. It would be the the detriment of parents if they have to travel, or don’t have transport."

She said the workers at the nursery were delighted it was to stay open.

Ms Cuddy said there would be redecoration and refurbishment, but that the nursery, based in a former coaching inn, would be able to remain open through the work.

The nursery had been rated as 'good’ by Ofsted in its last inspection in 2019, and will change its name to Welcome Nurseries @ Treeton.

The new owners will take over on Wednesday.

Welcome Nurseries currently operate 42 nurseries, but that is expanding to 55.