Published: September 24, 2020
Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
A not-for-profit pre-school in Calderdale has purchased the property it had been renting for 23 years thanks to a six-figure funding package from Unity Trust Bank.
Early Years @ Lightcliffe, which has been serving the community since 1994, bought Christ Church Centre in Lightcliffe, Halifax, after church landlords put it up for sale.
The charity successfully bid £400,000 for the detached building using its own reserves and a mortgage of £280,000 from the commercial bank with a social conscience.
Mike Wicks is a Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank. He said: “We help to create a better society by working with a range of organisations and charities that share our values.
“This loan to buy Christ Church Centre will help secure the long-term future of the organisation and safeguard jobs.
“Early Years @ Lightcliffe has highly experienced staff and a proven track record and we are delighted to support this purchase.”
Early Years @ Lightcliffe, which has an Oftsed rating of ‘Good’, employs 10 staff.
Registered with Calderdale Local Authority, it provides pre-school education for two to five-year-olds. It also offers after-school provision for pupils at Lightcliffe C of E Primary School.
Early Years @ Lightcliffe operates a holiday club for children aged two to 11 too. It remains open for childcare provision for 48 weeks a year.
Sam Pearson is the pre-school manager at Early Years @ Lightcliffe. She said: “We have 24 places for pre-school children and 75-plus families on roll across both pre-school and after-school provision.
“We provide a warm and welcoming environment where children can play, learn and develop to their full potential.
“We were well-established at Christ Church Centre. So, we were delighted to be able to buy the property thanks to the support of Unity Trust Bank.”
Christ Church Centre has several meeting rooms, a kitchen and a main hall and stage. Early Years @ Lightcliffe hopes to generate additional income from other community groups that use the facilities.