THIRTY staff have lost their jobs after the collapse of a nursery in the Highlands.

Country Bumpkins, a children’s nursery established in 2012, has entered into liquidation due to staffing issues and increased costs according to advisory firm Quantuma.

It means that 30 staff have been made redundant.

Located in Ardersier, near Inverness, the single site nursery was established in 2012. Like many in the sector, Country Bumpkins experienced difficulties in finding suitably trained staff, as many had migrated to council settings offering improved pay and benefits.

Added to this was the post-Brexit reduction in the Highlands labour market, all of which led to a reliance on agency staff and increased costs.

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Quantuma noted that the nursery’s revenues had remained steady in recent years – despite the pandemic – but staffing difficulties and increased costs meant that the company ceased to be economically viable.

Scott Milne, Quantuma managing director and a joint provisional liquidator said: “It is deeply regrettable that Country Bumpkins has been forced to cease trading, due to a series of challenging circumstances. A combination of extremely difficult trading conditions, including a reduced labour market and increasing costs, has seen the business unable to continue.

“As Joint Provisional Liquidators, our immediate priorities have been to provide appropriate support to those whose jobs have been affected.

“We would like to thank Highland Council and local private providers for helping to try and accommodate children into other local nursery facilities.”