AN ‘OUTSTANDING’ pre-school will be forced to close its doors due to a lack of classroom space at its current base.

Harrow Way Pre-school announced today (Wednesday), in a post on social media, that it will shut for the final time at the end of July.

The provider, which has been running for over 40 years, said that it is “deeply saddened” by the decision, made due to Harrow Way Community Schools increased intake of pupils and expected curriculum delivery, which has resulted in a need for more teaching space.

In a Facebook post, the pre-school said: “Hampshire County Council declined to provide funding for the Community School's proposed and much needed modular classrooms and instead made the decision to end the pre-schools tenancy agreement.

“As a result, the pre-school were given notice to vacate their playroom by the end of this current academic year.”

The pre-school said that last year the county council proposed to lease a portion of the playing field for interested parties to erect modular buildings, and provide 30 hours of nursery funding entitlement.

However, the cost of providing the provision for 0-11 year olds, on a 'flexible' basis for 51 weeks of the year was more than £350,000 and as a voluntary pre-school it said it could not compete with business providers.

“As a voluntary, charity run, sessional pre-school, we could not compete in the financial forum against 'business/profit' providers. However, there was a chance we could rent or add a modular building to their premises,” the post added.

“Despite initial interest in developing the site, by December 2018 no actual bids were forthcoming.”

It is expected that the county council will re-release the next bidding process in March, but the provider said that any “proposed future developments of the site will come far too late to be of benefit to our pre-school”.

The post said: “Despite our intensive researching and with consideration to every option on offer, no suitable, alternative premises is available to us. Therefore, the members attending our general meeting on the February 25, were left with no choice but to vote for the dissolution of our charity status and the closure of our pre-school.

“After over 40 years of serving our local families and their children, this heart wrenching decision was not taken lightly. We, like you, are all totally devastated at the loss of this much loved and successful provision.”

“Last, but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our past and present families for your trust and support.”

The pre-school will continue to operate as normal for the rest of the current academic year.

Harrow Way Pre-school, Harrow Way Community School and Hampshire County Council have been contacted for a comment.