CASE STUDY: Harcourt Pre-School, Bristol

Staff of a well-loved nursery have come together to buy the business that employed them after the owners decided to sell up, putting 10 jobs at risk.

Staff from the busy Bristol-based Harcourt Pre-School applied to The Hive last summer when they feared the future of their nursery was under threat. They received support to establish as a worker co-op, owned and run by its employees.

Harcourt Pre-school operates an inclusive policy whereby all families are welcome and children feel safe and secure. The pre-school has been an integral part of the community for the past 60 years and by taking over the pre-school activities the co-op has safeguarded this community provision, a move which has been supported by the parents of children attending the pre-school.

As well as the 40 children attending the pre-school, the reach extends to the wider community with regular family events. There is a big waiting list too, demonstrating continued demand for the pre-school’s existence.

Veronique Blanc, part of the management team at Harcourt Pre-school, says:

"Our preschool is at the heart of the local community and we take part in local charity events and fayres. We stayed open thanks to re-registering as a workers co-op and buying the business and its assets from the previous owner."

"The Hive support helped us with the basics, including how to conduct our first directors meeting and the legal requirements for registering with Companies House. We could always rely [on our support provider] to handle our queries in a friendly, knowledgeable manner."

"Support has meant Harcourt Pre-school has stayed open and have 40 children on our roll and a long waiting list for 2018 intake."

Groups and co‑operatives can apply for support throughout the year. Find out more and apply today at:

Hear from other groups and co‑ops who have received support from The Hive.

Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 16/05/2017