A POOLE independent school which closed with little warning earlier this year will be reopening as a day nursery and pre-school.

Buckholme Towers Prep School was shut in February, when parents were given just days notice of the school's fall into administration.

Despite the launch of a last minute crowd-funding effort by supporters, all of the children, some 60 pupils, had to find alternative school places.

Fifteen members of staff also lost their jobs.

In February, Portland Administrators announced the site would be occupied by another education provider.

Now, the new owners have been announced as Joanne and Matthew Howard, who have been running a successful nursery – which recently received an 'outstanding' rating from Ofsted – for the past six years.

The couple, both former police officers, say the name of their new nursery will be 'The Old School House', out of respect for the historic legacy of the site.

Mrs Howard said: "We are passionate about childcare and this iconic building offers something no one else can in terms of the setting and great outdoor space which will feature vegetable gardens, chickens and a diverse range of activities to help nurture children using a wholly holistic approach.

"We feel extremely privileged to be continuing the legacy of providing outstanding education within the local community 80 years on."

Buckholme Towers, which suffered a devastating fire in 2013, was founded by Dorothy Murray in 1939, on the eve of the outbreak of World War II.

Ruth Goulden, aged 83, who is the daughter of Mrs Murray said she is "absolutely thrilled" about this latest development in the story of Buckholme Towers.

Speaking earlier this year after quashing rumours the site may be redeveloped as housing, joint administrator Mike Fortune said: "The closure of the school left pupils, parents and the local community in state of shock. We have to remember that this institution has been in existence since 1939 and, for some, became a community and social hub.

"We worked closely with all parties linked to the business including the trust and are pleased that not only will the building be put to good use but another education provider has been secured which will ensure it serves children from the local community and surrounding areas.

"We will now do our best to work with the trustees to ensure the transition for this new education provider goes smoothly so it can get off to the best start.”

It remains unclear exactly when the new venture will open.

But if you are a parent wanting more information, contact Joanne Howard on 01202 242794