New building proposed to save preschool


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Lympstone Preschool has announced plans to build a new eco-classroom, which it says could save it from closure.

The preschool is facing financial difficulties, as in recent years its costs have increased while its income has remained static.

Treasurer Claire Whiter told Lympstone Parish Council this week that, at the current rate, the preschool could carry on for two to three years from its cash reserves before it would have to close.

The preschool, which currently rents a room at the village hall, is hoping to avoid this by building a new bespoke structure on the village hall site, in the area next to the hall’s committee room.

It hopes to negotiate a long-term, free lease and a peppercorn rent for the site with the village hall management committee.

Parish clerk Tony le Riche advised councillors that, if the village hall management committee was minded to grant a lease, it would fall to the parish council to approve it. Councillors, therefore, voted to approve such a request, if it were received.

Councillor Rory Estcourt said: “The most important thing is for the young children of the village to be educated in a permanent structure from an early age.”

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The preschool will now need the management committee’s approval before it can pursue the scheme.