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Pre-school leaves church after 300 per cent rent increase
A PRE-SCHOOL in Crewe that caters for special educational needs children has been forced to leave its church base after rents shot up 300 per cent.
Pamela Stout said her North Street Preschool couldn’t afford to pay the £1,500 per month at the recently refurbished Coppenhall Methodist Church.
Before the church underwent a £250,000 restoration, her group was paying £470 per month.
The pre-school caters for children between two and five-years old, operating five mornings and three afternoons a week.
“We take in all children. We have kids who have autism and speech and language difficulties,” explained Pamela.
“We’ve been there for 24 years and always had a good relationship. We used to help decorate the church in the holidays.
“We had always been told there would be room for us in the new church, and only a small increase in rent, but it’s gone up by a thousand pounds.”
North Street pre-school moved to St Michaels in Ford Lane. When a proposed date to return to the Methodist church fell through in June, Pamela wrote to parents informing them they’d be staying put.
“We were going to stay until Christmas, but now we’re staying here permanently. I’ve had no reason for the rent increase.
“There were quite a lot of the parents who were really upset.”
Reverend Robbie Bowen of Coppenhall Methodist Church said: “We’ve decided to charge organisations that are run as a business an hourly rate, rather than a monthly rate.
“Under that system, there’s been a considerable rise in the preschool’s case.
“We’re not disputing there has been a rise. The previous rate had been very low.
“There was a possibility of making the preschool a special case. We were part of the way through that process, but it wasn’t completed because the church was told that the preschool had found another premises.
“We understand that there are lessons to be learned from this, and we are sorry for the problems that it has caused.”