Sandmartins Nursery in Sand Hutton, York is closing its doors

Sandmartins Nursery, based at the York Biotech Campus in Sand Hutton, was given the highest possible grade following an Ofsted visit in August last year, but announced today (September 6) that they would be closing their doors.

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Sandmartins Nursery opened as a company nursery on the York Biotech Campus site in 1996, with current owners Debbie Ashby and Helen Pearson part of the original management team.

Given the redundancy in January 2020 and the possible closure of Sandmartins Nursery due to a contract change, Debbie and Helen took over the nursery during lockdown.

In a letter to parents today they said: “As you know, we are a small, independent spring business, operating on the site since the beginning of 2020 and before that under our previous employer when we opened in 1996.”

“After discussions with our landlord and the local authority, we have both had to make the very emotional decision to close the business from Thursday October 5th.

“There are several reasons for this decision, including:
-Spiralizing costs in all areas of the company.
-Our lease terms for the site have expired, along with a potential sale of the business, which unfortunately fell through today.
-As you know, in recent months we have been reliant on the support of agency staff, which has impacted costs. Major efforts to recruit new employees were met with very poor applicants and feedback.
-The impact on management was immense.

“We would like to emphasize that this was not an easy decision for any of us as we know the impact on everyone is huge. This decision came quicker than we would have liked, but we had to take the academic year into account.”

“We will now support everyone over the coming weeks: parents, children and our staff team as the next phase of the transition takes place.”

Sandmartins Nursery provides care for children aged three months to five years, both to both parents in the local community and to staff from leading life sciences organizations at the York Biotech Campus, including Abingdon Health, Fera, Covance and Labskin.

At the time of the Ofsted inspection, Liz Cashon, Head of Innovation Campus at York Biotech Campus, said: “Sandmartins Nursery is a really important asset to York Biotech Campus. It can be incredibly difficult to find quality childcare, let alone functioning childcare around parents’ working lives, and many of the on-site staff take advantage of this.

“We hear first-hand from our residents how the nursery’s proximity to their workplace makes it easier for them to juggle childcare, allowing them to focus on important scientific research, discovery and application, reassured by the knowledge that their children are looked after.” well cared for and are just a stone’s throw away.” Sandmartins Nursery in Sand Hutton, York is closing its doors

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