College day nursery hopes rest on sale

THE future of Great Yarmouth College’s Day Nursery could depend on a potential buyer for its site, after relocation plans were shelved.

The college’s acting principal Julia Howard told a packed meeting of over 70 parents on Tuesday that plans to relocate the nursery to Ambitions restaurant on campus had been dropped due to the cost involved.

However, she said negotiations were taking place with a potential buyer for the building housing the nursery, which had been given until Christmas to match the college’s asking price.

Ms Howard said the bidder had given assurances the nursery would not be affected by the sale.

However, she said if the asking price is not matched then the college may have to sell the building, meaning the nursery could have to close nine months from now.

“The last thing we want to do is close the nursery. I am just trying to be honest and give you the worst case scenario.”

However, her message was in a stark contrast to a pledge from the college in July that once the nursery’s site had been sold, it would be moved into the restaurant building. The changes were part of a redevelopment of the college’s Lichfield Road campus with money from the government’s Learning and Skills Council.

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But the government funding was slashed halfway through the redevelopment, forcing the college to look for ways to raise money to pay for the rest of the project, which included selling the nursery’s building.

Mark Rose, of Gorleston, whose son Oscar, three, attends the nursery, said he appreciated Ms Howard’s honesty.

He added: “It is our children’s education that we are worried about and we want to see that maintained in a facility locally and my hope is the college reaches an agreement to save the nursery.”

Bradwell mum Louise Ridge, whose daughter Imogen attends the nursery, said: “I personally think the representatives of the college have so far acted extremely unprofessionally in the way they have handled the situation and communicated it to parents.”