Expat-run Marbella nursery forced out of business by town hall error

Published:  9 May at 6 PM
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A long-established and popular Marbella nursery for expat children has been forced to close down due to a town hall error.

Co-owners of Marbella’s Wonderland nursery Ashlie Walker and Emma White are devastated that a so-called mistake by the local town hall has resulted in the closing of the business and the laying off of its staff. The successful playschool nursery was first established in 2012, with the owners told at a later date by the town hall they would need to register the nursery as a ‘ centro de educacion’. Happy to comply, they spent €25,000 on refurbishment and upgrades, only to be told their application had been refused.

Based at La Colonia, the much-loved San Pedro nursery was taking daily care of some 50 children when it was forced to close down. Speaking to local English language media, Emma said they’d done everything they could to get the license, including hiring a project manager to ensure all rules and local laws were being complied with. The pair were devastated when, in spite of all their efforts to get things right, the license wasn’t granted and they were forced to shut the nursery’s doors for good.

When the bad news broke, Emma and Ashlie did their best to find another venue for the school, but were unsuccessful. The worst blow of all was the local authority’s letter, sent two weeks after the closure, congratulating them on receiving the license. The pair were sickened to receive the notice, calling it a cruel twist, and it’s still unclear as to why the u-turn happened. By then, they’d decided they couldn’t open the nursery school again as it had taken all their cash and would be too difficult to get going as a result. The media outlet contacted the local town hall for a comment, but no response has been forthcoming.
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