Nursery closure deadline is set but fight goes on

Brodick Early Years is housed in Brodick Hall which is facing an uncertain future owing to a planned Community Asset Transfer by North Ayrshire Council.

Want to read more?

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

The Brodick Early Years committee has vowed to continue its fight to save the nursery which is under threat of closure owing to the uncertain future of the council-run Brodick Hall.

The future of the nursery, which is located in the hall, once again hangs in the balance following North Ayrshire Council’s decision to press ahead with plans to transfer ownership of the facility to any group who wishes to take it over under their Community Asset Transfer scheme.

At their AGM on Monday the committee made the difficult decision to set a deadline of Wednesday December 15, to have formal plans in place for the future of the nursery before the start of February 2022, when parents need to register their children for the academic year ahead.

A spokeswoman said: ‘There will be a deadline date of Wednesday December 15, 2021 whereby plans for a permanent premises must be in motion to allow the nursery to continue in August 2022, otherwise, with regret, Brodick Early Years will need to close come the end of the academic year.

‘We will not be accepting any promises this time but will, in fact, need actions to be in place and moving forward with pace.

‘This date has been agreed as parents need to register their children for nursery in the first week in February 2022, allowing parents the time to gather relevant information and make their decision on other nurseries around the island if need be.’

The decision to potentially shut the Brodick nursery comes after a three-year battle with council and government officials which initially seemed to offer some solutions to the issues faced, but which has now left them back where they started in 2019.

The spokeswoman continued: ‘For the sake of the academic year 2021/2022 we will make do with using the hall as is. The library will continue “gifting” us with some of their space – to be used if needed – when other community groups require the hall. This is not ideal but we recognise that parents have registered their children at Brodick for another year and staff are prepared to put in the extra work involved for this to happen.

‘Nevertheless, this may not be ideal for other community groups who want to use the hall on a more regular basis and it certainly cannot go on as a long-term solution, or even a temporary one, during the lengthy process of waiting to see if an asset transfer will take place or not.

‘It is important for the community to understand that the we are thinking of the entire community and it is not just about the future of the nursery.’

Looking to the future, Brodick Nursery committee members will attend a meeting with the hall committee to come up with a plan for the next academic year to secure the space alongside other community groups who wish to start using the space again safely.

They will also arrange a meeting with senior council officials regarding their position and a public meeting will be held towards the end of August in a bid to find a solution.