THE impending closure of a popular Kendal pre-school has raised fears that parents’ choices in South Lakeland are being reduced.

The Brewery Pre-School, at Highgate, which has been in the town offering childcare for nearly 50 years, will be closing its doors in July after the Brewery Arts Centre chose not to renew the lease.

This is the third nursery in less than a year to close.

Safehands Nursery, on Captain French Lane and Playbase Nursery, on Beezon Road, both shut days before Christmas in 2018.

Manager of the Brewery Pre-School Shelley Matthews voiced her fears that pre-school education could become a serious problem in the Kendal area.

“Parents should be able to choose where their children go, but now they no longer have that luxury,” she said. “Each pre-school setting is different and each child has a different need.

“One setting might suit one child but it might not suit another.”

As part of The Our Digital Future project, the Brewery will transform the pre-school into a third cinema screen.

Miriam Randall, the Brewery Art Centre’s CEO, said the building was “overdue for some upgrades” and that the closure of the pre-school was “not an easy decision to make”.

“We are regenerating some of our spaces so that we can broaden our cinema offer,” she said.

“The project is a refurbishment, rather than a rebuild; therefore due to our lack of space it is necessary for us to take back some spaces that have been let to other organisations in order to expand our own work.”

Lisa Tallon, of Kendal, said she was “deeply saddened” about the closure.

“My son has been a pupil at the Brewery pre-school for two-and-a-half years feel very fortunate he has had that long in such a wonderful setting,” she said.

“The preschool is more like a family and the care the staff have given to my son has been exemplary.

“He is heading to school in September but I can appreciate what a difficult situation some parents now find themselves in, having to find their child a preschool place elsewhere.I know I’d have found this stressful as well as upsetting.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron also expressed his concern following the news.

“Staff are now facing the unexpected uncertainties of unemployment and parents are now unexpectedly rushing to find places for their children in an already crowded nursery market in Kendal,” he said.

The National Day Nurseries Association says the number of nurseries closing across the country has increased by two-thirds since 2017.

Mrs Shelley thanked Kendal Parish Church and the Kirkland Centre, who had “been fantastic” at trying to help find new premises.