£280,000 loan safeguards jobs and enables property purchase

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 funding package from Unity Trust Bank.

Early Years @ 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, the not-for-profit organisation can now stay in its current home.

Mike Wicks, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “This loan to buy Christ Church Centre will help secure the long-term future of the organisation and safeguard jobs.

“Early Years @ Lightcliffe has highly experienced staff and a proven track record and we are delighted to support this purchase.”

Early Years @ Lightcliffe employs 10 staff. 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 @ Lightcliffe, 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.