Hospitals Trust looking to keep nursery open

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A nursery which has been threatened with closure at the end of May could still find a lifeline.

Acorn Day Nursery at Grantham Hospital was told it would close after a company which had taken on the new lease decided to pull out.

But the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust which leases the nursery building now says it will go back to the company, Childcare Enterprise Ltd, and ask it to reconsider. Failing that, the lease on the building could be put out to tender again.

Parents, staff and Trust officials met last Friday to discuss the situation. Rachel Stark, a mother with a daughter at the nursery, said there was an excellent turnout of parents at the meeting. The Trust was under the impression that only nine children attended the nursery when in fact there are 36 places at Acorn.

Most parents work at the hospital or are employed by the NHS. Mrs Stark said that in many of the hospital employee’s contracts it was stated that the nursery would be there for them if they needed childcare.

Nursery owner Marie Sparks said: “I think the Trust have reconsidered and have decided that they are not closing the nursery at the moment. They may well be looking to tender it out again.”

A spokesman for the Trust said: “We have listened very carefully to what the staff and parents have to say. These are people who are very important to the Trust.

“We understand how important the nursery is to their lives. We are exploring all the options to keep the nursery open, but it has to be a solution that is affordable to the Trust.”