Community crèche idea to be explored

A crèche facility could continue at our Ashbourne Leisure Centre - provided by the local community.

Councillors heard at a meeting last Thursday that low numbers meant the existing crèche was losing thousands of pounds a year and that the two members of staff who operate the facility had accepted voluntary redundancy from 19 December.

Ashbourne Leisure CentreBut after receiving a petition to save the crèche, signed by more than 150 local people, the District Council's Corporate Committee agreed to explore the potential for a community crèche initiative based at the leisure centre.

In the full year before a fire disrupted services at the centre last July, the crèche lost around £7,000 and was attended, on average, by fewer than 12 children every week.

But last week's committee heard from campaigners that a crèche could potentially operate successfully at the leisure centre given the right amount of promotion.

Afterwards, Ashbourne ward member Councillor Steve Bull said:

"The swimming pool will reopen in the next few weeks following the devastating fire last summer and, thanks to external funding for a new changing village and extended gym, Ashbourne Leisure Centre is now in the best shape in its history.

"We are willing to work with the community to provide a crèche, but, with local government finances being so tight right now, we cannot afford to continue to operate it in the current manner."

  • Read the full report [PDF 3.97KB] presented to our Corporate Committee (from page 119).

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