College’s nursery project faces closure

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A nursery and garden centre run by a Sheffield college has fallen foul of the recession and is to close at the end of August with the loss of two jobs.

High Riggs Nursery at Stannington was taken over by Freeman College two years ago to provide work experience and therapy for its students, who are on the autistic spectrum.

The site was used to introduce young people to skills such as coppicing, bow making, wood turning, basic garden maintenance and making bird boxes – but it was designed to run as a business as well as a learning centre.

It was hoped to set up training workshops for the public, adopt green and organic policies, and use renewable energy.

But principal Bonny Etchell-Anderson said the nursery had sadly failed to be sustainable.

Two staff members had decided not to apply for roles vacant elsewhere in the trust, and had been made redundant.

“The Ruskin Mill Trust which runs the college has had to make the difficult decision to close the nursery completely at the end of August,” she said.

“Students and staff at Freeman College have worked hard to keep the nursery open for the last two years.”