New lease of life for playbus

A LAST-MINUTE financial package has been put in place to save a playbus scheme which has been serving a rural area for 27 years.

A LAST-MINUTE financial package has been put in place to save a playbus scheme which has been serving a rural area for 27 years.

The committee running the Pyramids Playbus, based in the mid Suffolk area, had reluctantly decided to wind up the scheme because of the increased maintenance, fuel and running costs of the vehicle and more competition from alternative play and childcare schemes.

Annual costs had grown to £40,000 and there was a £20,000 deficit.

However, with the help of Suffolk County Council's childcare business development officer more grants have now been negotiated and the scheme has been partly refocused to link up with pre-school groups.


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Some pre-school groups only meet in the morning and the addition of the playbus facility in the afternoons will mean that whole-day child care can be provided for busy parents.

Karen Wharmby, Pyramids Playbus chairperson, said: “We have received more donations, obtained more grants, reduced our costs and made other changes which, we feel, now make the scheme a more sustainable operation.

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“It often takes someone from outside to see the possibilities and this is what happened when the county council became involved.”

“We are very pleased and very excited about the turnaround. We had been resigned to closing but now we have a new lease of life.”

The future of the scheme is now secured for the 2008-9 academic year and a business plan is being put in place for a three-year period.

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