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The Old School, 254-256 Lymington Road, Highcliffe17 August 2019

A statement by the Directors of the Highcliffe Residents’ Association CIC

The Directors of the Highcliffe Residents’ Association Community Interest Company (the HRA) have recently been informed by the Directors of the Rainbow Pre-school and Nursery CIC (the Rainbow Pre-school), a privately owned commercial business, that they are ceasing operations with immediate effect and that their company will be going into liquidation. 

The Rainbow Pre-school has leased a substantial part of The Old School building from the HRA for its educational activities since 23 August 2011. This is the date when the building was transferred to HRA by the Dorset County Council, subject to covenants that the building be used for community purposes.

The HRA Directors recognise the good work done by the Rainbow pre-school for the benefit of local children and parents. They are sad that the pre-school’s Directors have concluded that their business is no longer viable, as it has been a very appropriate use of the premises. Suitable new tenants will be sought. 

Relatively little maintenance work has been done to The Old School building in recent years, and parts of it have become very dilapidated and in need of safety checks. The current HRA Directors, who were appointed in June 2018 and January 2019, became concerned about the state of the building, and have commissioned comprehensive reviews, including Health and Safety aspects. They are making urgent essential repairs within the HRA’s existing resources, which unfortunately have not been sufficiently built up in the last few years as a consequence of differing interpretations of the lease to Rainbow Pre-school. The Directors are holding discussions with several community organisations about the possible future uses for the building and adjoining land.

As voluntary community representatives, the HRA Directors strive to keep The Old School as an asset that can be safely used and enjoyed by local people. They will keep members of the HRA updated with any future developments.