Little Gems child care centre back open

thisisoxfordshire: Little Gems manager Paula Foster with, from left, Isla Ford, Leo Ford, Joshua Moran, Paula Foster, Isaac Moran, Darcey Gray (foreground), Georgia Wiggins and Poppy Wiggins Buy this photo Little Gems manager Paula Foster with, from left, Isla Ford, Leo Ford, Joshua Moran, Paula Foster, Isaac Moran, Darcey Gray (foreground), Georgia Wiggins and Poppy Wiggins

A CHILD care centre based at Oxford Airport made homeless in June has been saved. Little Gems Child Care was forced to shut after the gym it was renting space from at the Kidlington airport closed.

But now a new company, Vida Value Gyms Ltd, has taken over the running of the business and allowed Little Gems to return.

The child care centre has been given a five-year lease and reopened on July 18.

Little Gems owner Paula Foster said: “It is just the most fantastic feeling knowing I am working and I can build up my business.

“At the moment, I am fully booked.”

But she said the last few months, when the future of the business hung in the balance, had been devastating.

She said: “We suddenly had no work and no wages. I had spent all that time and money then had nothing left at all.

“I did not know how I was supposed to pay my bills and I thought we were going to have to sell all the equipment in the room.

“I have been so ill over last seven weeks from the stress of it all.”

The centre offers all-day care for children aged from five months and caters for the airport and village communities.

Vida Value Gyms director Nick Garner, who previously used the gym, formed the new company with personal trainer David Brogan in May.

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Mr Garner said the new gym, which opened on July 13, would be profitable, adding: “With our much better value price we plan to raise the membership from around 700 to 1,000 or 1,500 and on that basis we can run the business profitably and sustainably.”

He added: “It would have been a great shame if the gym closed. There is a big community in Kidlington and in the villages to the north where there is little in the way of health and fitness facilities.”

Martin Conway, partner at Marriotts, which conducted the deal on behalf of London Oxford Airport, said of the gym: “It is a good facility to have in Kidlington and every one is very pleased that it is going to continue.”

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