TREETOPS Nursery in Dursley faces closure next month after the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust announced it can no longer afford to run the facility in School Road.

Trust CEO Rachel Howie cited ‘continuing financial difficulties’ and the ‘low number of children attending’ as reasons for the closure, which was announced last week.

She said: “It is with a heavy heart that due to the continuing financial difficulties the trust has had to make the very difficult decision to close the nursery. The key reason behind the need to close the nursery is the low number of children attending.”

Concerned residents in the town are now seeking a solution that will allow it to remain open.

Town councillor Danae Savvidou, whose daughter has just ‘graduated’ from Treetops and started primary school, said: “Treetops is a wonderful nursery, with skilled and caring staff providing an important service for parents and children in Dursley.

“It’s also the only childcare provider in town that offers care out of school hours.

“The closure will affect women primarily as all the staff are female and it’ll mean mums will find it harder to get back to work unless they can find alternative childcare.

“There are nurseries in Cam, but they’re already over-subscribed.”

Fellow councillor Wendy Thomas added: “This decision has caused a lot of stress among people in Dursley, who suddenly find themselves without any childcare.”

In a statement Dursley Town Council said it was ‘saddened to hear of the pending closure of Treetops Nursery, which is a valued service to the town’.

It added that the councillors believe a two-week consultation period for the nursery’s staff, which began following the announcement of the closure, will be too short.

They said: “We are concerned with the very short consultation period and have requested an urgent meeting with the CEO of The Diocese of Gloucestershire Academies Trust to discuss the matter.”

Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie, who is also planning a discussion with the trust, said: “I am aware of the difficulties that Tree Tops Nursery is facing and how important the nursery is for local families in Dursley.

“I have spoken to Gloucestershire County Council about this matter who I understand have offered support to the nursery. I have also now arranged a call with the Gloucester Diocesan Academies Trust to discuss the nursery’s future.”

Gloucestershire County Council said: “We will continue to work with parents to find alternative high quality childcare for their children.”

A final decision will be made by the Trust Board on September 25. If the final decision is to close the nursery, the last day will be October 9.

Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust CEO Rachel Howie said: “We know that Treetops Nursey is loved by many and our thanks go to all the dedicated staff and parents who have supported the nursery over many years. We are deeply sorry that we have had to make the proposal to close this provision.”

People are being encouraged to write to Dursley’s county councillor, Loraine Patrick, Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie and Rachel Howie at the Diocese of Gloucester asking them to help save the nursery.

For details of the campaign visit: