‘Outstanding’ Caledonian nursery will be forced out by rent hike

Market Playgroup is currently based in Tealby Court Community Hall, Roman Way. Picture: Google Stree

Market Playgroup is currently based in Tealby Court Community Hall, Roman Way. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

A top nursery will be forced out of its home of 21 years after its rent was more than quadrupled.

Market Playgroup, in Roman Way off Caledonian Road, has been told by landlord Avon that its annual rent will increase from £8,000 to £35,000.

It comes just a month after it was given an “outstanding” rating in its Ofsted report: the highest possible ranking.

But Islington Council, which pays the playgroup’s rent, is currently helping it search for new premises.

Organiser Janet Abraham, who has worked at the playgroup since 1990, said: “We were quite shocked. There’s no way we can raise that money so we will be moving premises.

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“The council has been very helpful and we have had a couple of viewings. But we need to be able to replicate our set-up as we have some children with special needs. Hopefully we can find the right place.”

The nursery, for children between two and five, has been going for 45 years and has been at its current premises for 21 years.

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She added: “It will be sad, as we have seen a lot of the community come and go here.”

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington’s executive member for children and families, said: “We are keen to carry on supporting them as far as we can.

“We are in constructive talks with the nursery leadership team and are helping them to consider their options, including searching for alternative premises if this becomes necessary – possibly within the council’s own estate – so they can carry on providing high-quality early education for young children locally.”

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