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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Ulverston nursery counting the cost of downpour without flood cover

A NURSERY devastated by flooding in Ulverston last year has been restored to its former glory – but is only now counting the true cost of the downpour.

Uncertainty over the start date for an ambitious flood defence scheme in Ulverston nearly cost Rascals Day Nursery, in Lund Terrace, its insurance policy.

But while manager Alex Mitton was able to renew her insurance in time to welcome children back to the repaired building on Tuesday, she will now be watching the weather nervously after being told she was no longer covered in the event of flooding.

She said: “I am dreading November – apparently it is very unlikely that anybody is going to be able to get flood cover until these flood defences have been proven.”

The Environment Agency is currently pushing ahead with an ambitious project to reduce the risk of flooding at Town Beck, which runs alongside the nursery’s playground.

Mrs Mitton said she was told by her insurance broker that getting flood cover would be “near impossible” until the defences had been shown to work.

She said: “So they have got to be in place and then we have got to have a downpour to test it.”

Rascals Nursery, in Lund Terrace, has been closed for a total of almost 14 months during the past four years due to two separate floods.

On each occasion, the insurance has covered the cost of repairs but now, despite the insurance premium nearly doubling, it will not be covered if it happens again – leaving the nursery to foot the bill.

But even though her insurance has gone up by almost £2,000, Mrs Mitton said she was just relieved to renew it in time to move the children back into the restored building.

With around 60 children on the books and 12 members of staff, she said it would have been a disaster if she were not able to continue trading.

“We are finally back in and very happy,” she said. “The parents love it and have been saying it’s nice to be back.”

For the past four months, the nursery operated out of the Lanternhouse after its trustees stepped in to help following the floods in November.

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