A WOKING childcare centre is to close weeks after it raised more than £400 for charity at a concert of music, dance and drama, performed by staff members.
The concert, by Treasure Cove, in Guildford Road, was hoped to be the first of an annual event but last week it announced that it will open for the last time on Saturday 5 October because the building is scheduled for demolition early next year and the play centre has been unable to find an alternative site.
A notice to parents said that “separately, we have been trying for a long time to get a business rates reduction from Woking Borough Council but have been unable to do so”, adding that “Treasure Cove is unsustainable with the current business rate levels.”
Yvonne Frew, the managing director, said that 20 members of staff will lose their jobs.
“We’ve been informed there is nothing for us to move to, and the spot that we had asked for in the new Toys R Us development is no longer available,” Yvonne said.
“It’s an immensely sad day for all of us. All the hard work, the money and the time to build a venue and destination that both parents and children loved visiting is being done away with.”
The fundraising concert was held in the Horsell Village Hall and organised by Yvonne after she realised that several of her staff were talented in music, arts and drama.
The money raised was split equally between Your Sanctuary, which is one of the Mayor of Woking’s charities, and Guide Dogs for The Blind.
Ray Morgan, Woking Borough Council’s chief executive, said: “We are saddened that the owners of Treasure Cove have taken the decision to close their business. We were in discussion with the owners to manage the way forward, but due to contractual arrangements, we are unable to disclose any further details at this time.”
Danielle Dunne, whose child attends Treasure Cove, has set up a petition asking the council of help the centre find new premises at affordable rates.
“This comes at a time when many children’s centres are being closed and Woking parents and children have few options for support in the community,” Danielle said.
“There’s nowhere else in Woking or nearby like Treasure Cove. It hosts mum’s coffee mornings, cooking classes for children and exclusive Special Educational Needs sessions.
“The closure will have a real impact on the community and our high street is already full of empty shop premises.”
The petition, which already has more than 500 signatures, can be found at https://petitions.woking.gov.uk/Treasure-Cove.
For the full story get the 26 September edition of the News & Mail