A HEXHAM nursery is to close its doors.

Diandjims will close permanently on Thursday (December 22) due to financial difficulties.

Staff are all being made redundant.

It follows the closure of the Prudhoe branch on the town's Broomhouse Lane in October.

The nursery, out of school club and holiday club, within the grounds of the former Hexham Middle School, is owned by Di and Jim Richardson, who have been in the childcare sector since 1995.

"It's been very difficult since Covid", said Jim. "Before that, it was fantastic but we haven't got back to the strength that we were before. 

"We've done everything we can do to keep it going."

Jim added: "Di and I had a wonderful time. We've loved every minute of it. It's been our lives.

"I've really appreciated the loyalty of the staff and the parents, it's been a wonderful ride for 27 years. Two members of staff have been there for 18 years.

"We've had thousands through the doors; we've had people start with us at months old and they're still with us until they go to high school - that's a long time of somebody's life. 

"There are lots of children in fabulous jobs all over the world. There are people in Australia and Oxford University."

The closure has led to fears about wrap-around care provision for Hexham parents with other nurseries full or not open late enough.

Di and Jim also run the Get Licks soft play formerly the Fun Station, in Prudhoe, which also houses an onsite cafe and ice cream parlour and a branch in Hexham.