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  1. ITV Report

Nursery chain collapses leaving up to 450 families without child care and 136 staff facing redundancy

A chain of children's nurseries and day centres has gone into liquidation, leaving 136 staff facing redundancy.

Up to 450 families will be affected by the closure of the Great Yarmouth Community Trust, which ran eight nurseries and two other education facilities across Norfolk and Suffolk. All of them are now closed.

Administrators said the trust had "serious financial difficulties" and stopped trading on Wednesday.

Lee Green, Partner at MHA Larking Gowen, which is advising the trust and handling the liquidation, said:

"Unfortunately the Great Yarmouth Community Trust has experienced serious financial difficulties and as from today the business will cease to trade. The liquidation process will begin in the next two weeks."

– Lee Green, MHA Larking Gowen

The nurseries affected are:

Calthorpe Nursery, Great Yarmouth

Little Blossoms Nursery, Filby

Ladybird Day Care at Kirkley Children's Centre, Lowestoft

Little Ducks Day Nursery, Lowestoft

Peggotty Nursery, Great Yarmouth

Priory Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth

Seagulls Day Nursery, Gorleston

Willow Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth

The Little People's Montessori nursery in Norwich is a subsidiary of the Trust but will not be affected by the liquidation.

In addition, the trust runs two educational facilities; Horatio House in Lowestoft, and Nexus Engineering in Gorleston.

Andrew Forrest, Executive Director at the Great Yarmouth Community Trust, said:

"It is with huge regret that I can confirm the Trust is insolvent. As a trust we were set up with the sole purpose of improving the life chances of children, adults and families in Great Yarmouth through community building, education and wrap around support.

"In recent years we have been experiencing financial difficulties and it has now become clear that our business is no longer viable. We have been working with insolvency experts and Norfolk County Council to do all we can to minimise the impact for those who use or visit our services. I am sorry for the disruption and uncertainty that the current position is causing for local families and for our valued staff."

– Andrew Forrest, Executive Director at the Great Yarmouth Community Trust

Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils say they'e working to provide alternative nursery provision as quickly as possible.

Norfolk County Council has set up two new companies, one to run provision at Horatio House and the other to run nursery provision in Norfolk.

Drop-in sessions are also being held for parents in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston on December 4th.

A spokesman said: "We hope to have some Norfolk nursery provision up and running by mid December and the independent school provision open by January 6."

The council is also holding special sessions for staff on December 3 to talk about future employment.

  • A special number has been set up for parents to contact on 01603 306300. It is open until 7pm tonight and from 8am tomorrow morning.
  • Any Norfolk nursery staff interested in employment in the near future should register their interest via www.norfolk.gov.uk/gyctstaff
  • The county council is offering all staff affected by the closure of the Trust the opportunity to speak to a specialist redundancy support service. Anyone interested in this service should register their details at www.norfolk.gov.uk/gyctstaffadvice