A BOURNEMOUTH pre-school has been saved from closure after parents and staff rallied round to raise funds and a church also stepped in to help.

But seven staff at Barbara Rose have lost their part-time jobs under a restructuring to make the school viable.

The charity-run Christian pre-school was set to close at the end of term. Devastated parents and staff started a fundraising campaign to raise £15,000 to keep it running in the short-term.

Following an emergency meeting of the St Paul’s Church parochial church council, it was decided the church should offer “significant financial support”.

However, a restructure process was agreed to ensure the school will be financially stable in the long-term, and seven part-time staff members have lost their jobs.

David Penfold, chair of the committee that runs Barbara Rose, said: “It is fantastic news for children, parents and the whole community that the Barbara Rose Christian Pre-school will now be able to remain open.

“I want to thank in particular the PCC and congregation of St Paul’s Church, and the committed staff, parents and contributors who have fundraised so successfully to save the pre-school. With their love and support, we look forward to a new term in September with a huge amount of optimism.

“I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of the amazing staff that we have and to thank them for everything that they have done”.

A spokesperson for the pre-school, which has capacity for 65 pupils, said the “energy, creativity, love and support of the staff and parents towards the pre-school has generated a significant fundraising effort to complement the church’s gift and give the pre-school a solid future”.

“The parent and community fund raising effort is still ongoing and every pound will support the pre-school and extend its viability and sustainability.”

Barbara Rose had cited several reasons for its financial situation which threatened its closure including reduced funding for free childcare places, increased running costs, and lower registration for sessions.

According to the Early Years Alliance, childcare providers’ costs have risen sharply in recent years amid a £615million funding shortfall.