Blow for estate as road threat closes nursery

Uncertainty surrounding plans for a motorway link road has led to the closure of a Wigan nursery.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 3:49 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Residents on Meadowbank in Pemberton

Families in Meadowbrook Estate are “devastated” by the news that Rainbow Corner Nursery in Pemberton will close after ambiguity surrounding the council’s plans to build an M58 link road through Billinge Road and Pemberton Business Park, has left them out of options.

The news comes as another blow for families who have been fighting the proposals since they moved onto the estate in 2012.

Jack Heath, chief executive of St Bede’s Childcare charity which runs Rainbow Corner, said: “The reason for the closure of the nursery is that we are finding it difficult to make financial ends meet.

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“We would want to expand and recruit more people to make the business more financially viable but we have the threat of the link road hanging over us. I don’t think we can really use our scarce resources to expand on that particular site. It wouldn’t be the right place for a nursery to be with these huge 40ft lorries.”

Some of the children who attend will relocate to the charity’s nursery in Standish and Mr Heath said that members of staff are being relocated to help avoid redundancies.

Claire Heddle, chairman of the “Say no to the M58 link road” campaign, said: “Everyone is panicking trying to find somewhere else with one month’s notice. This has caused quite a lot of stress and we are upset about it. It’s sad but it’s also very annoying that it’s because of the road.”

The community is reviewing a “number of options” to oppose the road, and more than £5,000 has been put in by residents to pay for a solicitor.

Karl Battersby of Wigan Council, said: “The proposals do not directly affect the curtilage of any businesses on Leopold Street so any proposals to expand should not be affected by the road proposals. It is proposed to install a pedestrian and cyclist crossing on the link road near the nursery and junction with Meadow Brook.

“Residents and businesses were consulted in late 2015. Since then the council has been revising the plans to accommodate ideas where possible to minimise the impacts and increase the benefits for the community.

“Businesses on Leopold Street and Kilshaw Street were asked to complete a questionnaire in late 2016 providing information regarding vehicle movements and loading activities. The council is currently reviewing this information.”