Decision made over future of Ripon's leisure centre crèche

Parents or carers will no longer need to take part in an activity at Ripon leisure centre to access the childcare service.
Parents or carers will no longer need to take part in an activity at Ripon leisure centre to access the childcare service.

A decision has been made about the future of Ripon leisure centre’s crèche.

Despite concerns from parents that the facility could close, Harrogate Borough Council has announced that Harry’s Place Childcare (formerly Harry’s Place Crèche) will stay open, following a consultation with city residents.

The council initially raised concerns about its viability, highlighting their latest figures that only four people attend each session on average, with annual running costs of £20,000.

Campaigners called for the crèche to have a wider community use to secure its survival, and after consulting with residents, the council has confirmed that parents will now be able to leave their children at Harry’s Place Childcare without having to remain on-site.

Parents or carers will no longer need to take part in an activity at Ripon leisure centre to access the childcare service, and opening times have changed with the aim of capturing more users attending classes in the gym and Ripon Spa Baths.

The new two-hour sessions start on September 3, and cost £6.30.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, cabinet member with responsibility for culture, tourism and sport, said: “This facility will not only allow our members to enjoy the gym or classes knowing their little ones are in safe hands, but we also encourage residents to book sessions for their child so they can attend personal appointments - like going to the dentist or doctors, or shopping in the centre without having to remain on-site.

“We are committed to ensuring that our customers get the most out of our leisure and sport facilities and these sessions, manned by our dedicated team of child practitioners, are perfect for putting parents and carers’ minds at rest as they enjoy our amenities.”

The new opening times are: Monday, 9.30am to 11.30am; Tuesday, 9.30-11.30am; Wednesday, 11.45am to 1.45pm; Thursday, 9.45am to 11.45am, and Friday, 9.30am to 11.30am.