Club closure due to council rent demands

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Users of an after-school club say they have been left struggling after it closed due to unaffordable rent from Suffolk County Council.

Cedar Corner was a registered charity that offered parents the ability to work full time, with children looked after at a council-owned building in the grounds of Wells Hall Primary School in Great Cornard.

However, after a nursery that was also based in the building gave its notice, the club was left footing 100 per cent of the rent, something it simply could not afford.

Many of the staff were from the school, and parents said the very reasonable prices meant it was a lifeline for those wanting to continue in full-time employment.

One of those, Martin Bark, said it was one of the things that attracted him and his wife when looking for a school for their son.

“Lots of working parents relied on it,” said the 39-year-old.

He questioned why support wasn’t given to the after- school club by the council, especially for a project that kept parents in full-time employment.

Working in Cambridge, his hopes now rest on another similar group being found.

“It’s not only affected parents but staff also. They got extra income from the extra couple of hours. It’s had a real impact.”
A director of The Cedars at Wells Hall Limited, said: “People are very disappointed but we can’t run it if it isn’t going to pay for itself.

“Paying 100 per cent just isn’t feasible.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed the private nursery had given notice and left.

“We are seeking a new provider so we can continue that service. That’s at an advanced process, discussions are ongoing.

“We are looking to put that facility back in place and then the after-school club could go back. We have no objection to that at all.”

Despite this, the director, who did not want to be named, said there were no plans to reopen there or elsewhere.