Success for campaigners as nursery will remain open in Northampton

Parents and children pictured outside Dallington Pre-school back in June.
Parents and children pictured outside Dallington Pre-school back in June.

A Northampton nursery will now be ran as a charitable organisation following fears it would shut for good.

Last month a petition was set up by parents and stakeholders of Dallington Pre-school after the Pre-School Learning Alliance (PLA) said it was considering shutting the nursery due to a lack of Government funding.

Childminder Hayley Bligh, of Dallington, spearheaded the 615-strong petition and is now, alongside the committee, registering the new 'Dallington Community Nursery' with Ofsted before it can offer funded places and make claims for funding from Northamptonshire County Council.

Any proceeds from the nursery under its charity status will be reinvested into the nursery and into the local community.

She said: "Parents are ecstatic. We found out on Wednesday evening (July 11) that we were given the go-ahead.

"We have not seen people happy for the last four-five weeks. It's all been doom and gloom for a lot of the families.

"Although they might have to wait until October they will have somewhere for their children to go and be happy."

The nursery is aiming to re-open in its former location at the Old Church Rooms before October this year, depending on when the registration process is completed with Ofsted, and the pre-school will have the capacity to take on 24 children both in the morning and afternoon.

Councillor Gareth Eales, (Lab, Dallington & Spencer) who has assisted the campaign, said: “This is a wonderful development and to see a pre-school remain in the heart of the village is fantastic.

"The new Dallington Community Nursery will be ‘run by the community, for the community’ with any profits to be reinvested into the nursery and the local community.

"I’d like to say a special thanks to the formidable Hayley Bligh for her drive and determination to get us this far. I’m delighted personally to be a part of this exciting journey.”

A spokesman for Dallington Pre-school said: “There is still work to do to ensure the long-term sustainability of Dallington but we are happy to continue playing our part by offering any support to parents needed throughout the takeover process, including the transfer of equipment and resources to the new setting. We wish the new Dallington Community Nursery well for the future.”

"We are very pleased that a potential solution has been found to secure the future of Dallington Pre-school. The decision to consult with staff on the future of the setting was not one taken lightly and carried a responsibility to explore any viable alternative to permanent closure – something we continued to work towards after the consultation had ended.

“However positive this outcome may be, we know how stressful a time this has been for parents and would like to thank them for their commitment to the setting throughout this process. There is still work to do to ensure the long-term sustainability of Dallington but we are happy to continue playing our part by offering any support to parents needed throughout the takeover process, including the transfer of equipment and resources to the new setting. We wish the new Dallington Community Nursery well for the future.”