Over 100 jobs saved as South Tyneside nursery secures its future with £200,000 cash boost

More than 100 jobs have been saved as a South Tyneside nursery group secures its future in the borough with a £200,000 loan.

South Shields-based nursery group, Early Learning Partnership has been able to safeguard more than 100 jobs and secure its future, after receiving a £200,000 loan from a new scheme designed to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The group which operates five nurseries across the town, including sites in Westoe, West Park, Harton and Bede Burn - with 650 children enrolled on either private or government-backed plans - celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year.

More than 100 jobs have been saved at the Early Learning Partnership in South Tyneside.

The group was experiencing a significant fall in revenue and facing cashflow issues, but managing director Eammon Gribben was able to secure a £200,000-loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) at Lloyds Bank.

The funding meant he could pay 40% of the wages for his team of 110 – topping up the furlough grant so each person could continue to take home 80% of their salary – as well as covering other business costs.

Eamonn Gribben said: “When the lockdown was announced, we immediately turned to Lloyds Bank for support and, together, we drew up plans that would help secure our business’ future.

“This new funding has helped to ease the strain on our cashflow.

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“It’s also given us the confidence to look ahead to a time when we’ll be able to reopen safely. We’re really looking forward to the day when we can welcome the children back.”

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Danielle Fraser, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “COVID-19 has forced many businesses to make extremely tough decisions at a time of unprecedented challenge.

“We’re doing everything we can to support businesses affected by the pandemic, helping them to ride out the storm so they can continue their growth journey once some degree of normality returns.”

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