A NURSERY threatened with closure after it was labelled ‘dirty’ is set for a new lease of life as part of a £2.5million takeover deal.

Bosses at Safehands Green Start have acquired six nurseries across Lancashire and Cumbria – including the under-fire Little People of Colne site in Derby Street.

Education inspectors found that the nursery’s previous owners had failed 16 out of 17 benchmarks during a visit last year.

An inspector noted that: “Children’s good health and well-being is compromised because standards of cleanliness are poor” and commented on chairs and playthings ingrained with dirt.

The nursery was told it must clean up its act or be closed down – but it closed suddenly after the inspection’s findings were announced.

The deal which sees Safehands take over the Colne nursery will also see other sites in Edmondson Street, Barnoldswick, and Haywood Street, Accrington, formerly owned by Little Craft, come under the group’s wing.

An opening offer of one month’s free childcare is being made by Paul Manning, managing direc– tor of the group.

“There are no catches, it is simply a way of introducing families to how we will operate their local nursery and the changes we have made,” he said.

The company already has nurseries in Blackpool, Swinton and across Cheshire. An investment programme of £2.5million has been pledged for the newly-acquired locations.