Updated Statement on An Cotan Nursery

Discussions are continuing between UHI Outer Hebrides, community planning partners and parents to explore alternative viable options to avoid closure of An Cotan Childcare Centre in Stornoway.

Joe MacPhee, Director of External Engagement and Growth at UHI Outer Hebrides, said: “We are continuing to talk to parents and key stakeholder partners, including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and NHS Western Isles, to see how we can work together to find a solution.    

I would reiterate that no final decision has been made on closure and we are working hard to explore solutions which would avoid the loss of this critical childcare provision in our community, as we recognise the significant impact closure would have.

We are proactively pursuing discussions with a range of organisations, all of which have been very positive.  At recent meetings, parents were briefed on the progress of these discussions and encouraged to respond to the consultation and come forward with ideas and suggestions.  An update will also be discussed at the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership Board on 16th March. 

An Cotan faces significant challenges in terms of staffing and financial sustainability and these are sector wide issues faced by childcare providers across the country.  It is more significant in our community due to the lack of alternative childcare provision. We must work together to find a solution.

We continue to support our staff and engage with unions to try to ensure the best possible outcome.”

A dedicated email has been set up for consultation feedback ancotan.consultation@uhi.ac.uk