Calderdale pre-school purchases church centre following £280k funding from Unity Trust Bank

A pre-school in Calderdale which faced eviction after the church building it was renting was put up for sale has bought the property thanks to a six-figure fund package from Unity Trust Bank.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 4:20 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 4:27 pm

Early Years, in Lightcliffe, which has been serving the community since 1994, was given notice to leave Christ Church Centre in Lightcliffe, Halifax after church landlords decided to sell it.

The charity was reluctant to relocate and 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, the not-for-profit organisation can now stay in its current home.

Calderdale pre-school purchases church centre following 280k funding from Unity Trust Bank
Calderdale pre-school purchases church centre following 280k funding from Unity Trust Bank

Mike Wicks, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, 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 has highly experienced staff and a proven track record and we are delighted to support this purchase.”

Early Years, which has an Oftsed rating of ‘Good’, employs 10 staff.

Calderdale pre-school purchases church centre following 280k funding from Unity Trust Bank

Registered with Calderdale Local Authority, it provides pre-school education for two to five-year-olds and after-school provision for pupils at Lightcliffe C of E Primary School.

Sam Pearson, pre-school manager at Early Years, said: “We have 24 places for children and 47 on roll. We provide a warm and welcoming environment where children can play, learn and develop to their full potential.

“We are well-established at Christ Church Centre so we are delighted to be able to stay thanks to the support from Unity Trust Bank.”

Christ Church Centre has several meeting rooms, a kitchen and a main hall and stage. Early Years aims to generate additional income from other community groups that use the facilities.