AN OUTSTANDING TEST VALLEY nursery is set to close its doors after 16 years.

Sue Grey, the manager of Hopgarden Day Care located in Carter Clay Road in Lockerley is set to close the nursery in the coming months.

Plans have been lodged by Sue to Test Valley Borough turn the nursery which is attached to Sue's home to residential use to extend Sue's home.

The plans are currently under consideration.

Sue told the Romsey Advertiser that she is closing the nursery because she is retiring and also due to running costs.

She said: "We are an Ofsted outstanding nursery and the money that we receive from Hampshire County Council is not enough to keep up this high standard.

"The costs of training and safeguarding are very expensive and I don't want to have to lower the standards."

The nursery currently receive £4.36 from Hampshire County Council per child per hour for those who qualify for funding.

For those who don't it costs £6.70 per or £6.99 per hour

Sue said: "It has been a very difficult decision deciding to close the nursery and I will be very sad.

"My staff have been so loyal and dedicated, it is a real shame."

The nursery currently has 29 children on its books and four members of staff.

Sue who has worked in childcare for the past 31 years said: "I love working with children and seeing them develop and grow.

"Thanks to word of mouth this nursery has been a success."

On July 19 Sue and the team at the nursery will host a closing event to celebrate the nursery over the years.

Past and present children and parents will be able to attend and the nursery will host a teddy bears picnic.

Sue said: "Lots of parents have sent me lovely messages since we announced we are going to close and one parent cried."

Linda Gee, from Romsey who has worked at the nursery since it opened said:" Sue is a fantastic boss and she puts her heart and soul into the nursery."

Amy Cunnington, from Timsbury said: "My son Hugo has been at the nursery for the past two years and he has thoroughly enjoyed his time here.

"He has developed wonderfully and it has prepared him well."