Funding woe closes nursery

Opening of the new nursery at Blackpool Zoo. One of the playrooms. / A-ZOO NURSERY
Opening of the new nursery at Blackpool Zoo. One of the playrooms. / A-ZOO NURSERY
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A nursery is to close its doors after bosses revealed they were no longer able to fund the service.

Blackpool A-Zoo Nursery, which is based at the East Park Drive attraction, will shut on August 1 – much to the dismay of parents relying on its services.

Devastated mum-of-six Simarah Dodd, 31, says the nursery helped her son, Claiton, to speak and is upset her two youngest children will not get the same experience.

She said: “I thought it was a great nursery and it’s such a shame.

“All I want is for my other two to experience what he did.

“He had full use of the zoo and the Play Barn and it’s devastating to know my two sons will not have that.

“When Claiton started, his speech wasn’t very good and the other children spoke for him. He was screaming for the first few months because he didn’t want to stay, but because they have helped him with his speech it’s fantastic, and he is coming out with words you wouldn’t expect from a four-year-old.”

The teaching staff will be re-deployed to other departments in the zoo when the nursery closes.

But Mrs Dodd says she is now looking for another nursery for her youngest two sons.

She added: “My son has had the most wonderful experience there and if I ask him if he wants to stay at home, he says he wants to go in to nursery.”

Darren Webster, Zoo director, said: “It is with deep regret we have taken the decision to close the nursery.

“I would like to thank parents past and present, as well as our wonderful nursery team, for their support and efforts over the years.

“The nursery has not been commercially sustainable for a considerable period of time, and despite our very best efforts to remedy this we have been left with no other choice.

“As a considerate company we do not want this decision to have a detrimental impact on the children. We are therefore giving three months’ notice and the nursery will remain open until Friday, August 1 2014. We are liaising with the Early Years team to provide parents with information on nurseries in the area.

“We will also look to redeploy staff to other departments in the zoo.

“The A-Zoo Nursery is an entirely separate business entity to Blackpool Zoo and there will be no impact on the attraction.”