Pre-school has high hopes over potential new site

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A NURSERY facing closure is optimistic about securing its future.

Gateway Nursery and Pre-school in Forton, Gosport, was faced with having to shut down after it was told it was not able to stay at its current base.

The nursery is using the Salvation Army hall, on The Crossways, but was informed earlier this year that it would not be able to extend its contract in the new year.

But the nursery is now hoping to move to the grounds of Leesland Infant and Leesland Junior School, off Gordon Road.

The move is subject to a planning application but staff are staying positive about the relocation. Catriona Nason, a trustee of the Gateways Nurseries and Pre-School group, said: ‘It is good news that we are hoping to move our Forton nursery to the Leesland School grounds.

‘But this is subject to planning, Sport England approval and a successful Section 77 application which protects land within school grounds.

‘It’s not a foregone conclusion and we don’t want to jeopardise the project by assuming planning will be granted.

‘But we are just delighted to have the potential opportunity to find such a great alternative where we can meet the needs of even more children alongside such a good school.’

She added: ‘We have received a great deal of support from Sue Hine, executive headteacher, Kate Dowell and the governors at Leesland Federation.

‘But also from Tracey Messer, Jayne Godden and Helen Ley at The Hants Team from Hampshire County Council. We are so grateful to them all.

‘We have employed services of The Project Support Practice to undertake the planning application and the project build. Fingers crossed all goes well.’

As previously reported in The News, the nursery was facing closure because it had not found an appropriate new site.

The Salvation Army had to stop the rent to the nursery because it required use of the hall.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said: ‘We need to use our building for our work with people in the community.

‘We realise that people need to make plans and so decided to give the pre-school many months’ notice when we are actually only required to give one month.

‘We gave them this notice so far in advance to help ensure they would be able to find alternative premises.’