Campaigners have hailed a “momentous victory” after plans to axe a top rated nursery were shelved.

Middlesex University Nursery was threatened with closure after university bosses claimed that “difficult decisions” had to be made due to “the current challenging financial situation”.

Parents at the Hendon nursery, which is rated outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted, hit out at the plans, describing them as a “shocking cost-cutting move”.

And following two days of protests last month, campaigners have now reached an agreement with the university to secure the nursery’s immediate future.

As part of the deal, the number of nursery places will be expanded to generate additional revenue, something which will be accompanied by the end to a recruitment freeze on nursery staff.

Fees will also be increased and, in the longer term, a permanent premises sought to save the £150,000 lease cost for the existing temporary building.

Radoslava Topalov, who studies a nursing degree at the university and has a son at the nursery, said that the decision has lifted “so much weight and worry”.

She added that she would have considered abandoning her degree if the nursery had shut and claimed that her son was “over the moon” to learn he could return in September.

Christine Strewe, chair of Middlesex University UNISON, which helped to negotiate the final deal, said: “This is an excellent outcome, but we would not have succeeded if it had not been for all the hard work, dedication, determination and solidarity of the nursery staff, parents, and our Unison branch.”

Rashmi Nadig, a local mum whose son attends the nursery, echoed these comments, describing the decision as “a momentous victory for the community”.

A petition against the closure garnered almost 1,500 signatures.

Dan Ozarow, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University whose son attends the nursery, said: “A few weeks ago the odds of saving our nursery seemed stacked against us. But as parents we were determined to fight for our children.”

He added: “The nursery is staying open and I hope we made our daughters and sons proud.”

The Save Our Nursery campaign will now focus on supporting the university in sourcing a permanent building for the nursery.