ANGRY parents learned via a WhatsApp message a swim school for children has closed with 'immediate effect', leaving them hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

The city's Nemo Swim School which used the pool at New College in Whittington Road, Worcester, has closed suddenly and parents are furious as they have been told they will get 'no refunds'.

The swim school is not connected with NEW College and hired the venue for its lessons.

Members received a WhatsApp message yesterday (Saturday) from Scott Alan McKenzie on behalf of the business, telling them the swim school has closed with immediate effect.

Mr McKenzie said: "I booked all pools to continue this term but after working a secondary job and aiming to raise further capital I was unable to do so.

"I became insolvent as of yesterday [Saturday] and therefore can no longer trade.

"This is not a decision I wanted to make, and I have worked tirelessly to provide further capital."

He went on to answer questions and under a section called 'Refunds' he said: "I wanted to try to run the sessions this term and through further secondary income pay the refunds."

The school's Facebook page and website have now been removed. 

Some members have also been removed from the WhatsApp group while parents are discussing legal action and have reported losing 'hundreds of pounds'. 

A Facebook group has been set up with parents venting their frustration about the situation.

Malvern Gazette: Members are removed from the Nemo WhatsApp group Members are removed from the Nemo WhatsApp group (Image: Facebook)

The WhatsApp message reads: "Sorry for the delay in coming back to you about the new term.

"I have come to the extremely sad decision that I have to cease trading as Nemo Swimschool's with immediate effect.

"For the last month I have been working tirelessly to raise enough money to continue trading but due to the economic crisis that we all find ourselves in, a downturn in memberships and increases in pool fees I have no other option.

"After a long meeting with my solicitor yesterday there is no other feasible way of continuing.

"This has been the hardest year of my life."

He goes on to mention a bereavement in the family and adds: "Swimming and Nemo have been my passion for the last four years and I am heartbroken to be in this situation and having to write this situation to you all.

"Sorry just to confirm we have completely ceased trading so we cannot offer any refunds.

"The fees paid were used to pay staff and extra pool fees in the hope that we would be able to continue trading.

"We ourselves have inject (sic) a large proportion of money to continue trading and I thought I could do this again but I can't raise any further capital."

One mum said: "The owner Scott Mckenzie was pestering us for term payments that would cover September and October in June.

"Telling us if we didn’t pay then my children would lose their spot with their swim instuctor, so we paid as we didn’t want them to miss out on their swim lessons.

"And he has took our money and stopped all contact and blocked out numbers.

"After speaking with several people he has done the same and closed the business."

Another mum said: "The start of term was supposed to be next week, he took our money at the start of June, there was no direct debit or official ways to pay other than them asking us to pay through PayPal (family and friends) or through bank transfer to [a family member], we trusted him and now none of us can now get a refund because of how we paid.

"It’s just really sad that a lot of us, myself included, are all struggling with the cost of living and have now been left out of pocket and unable to afford any more swim lessons for our little ones."

In his email statement, Mr Mackenzie said: "With regards [to] the bank account, no fraud has been committed it is a business account attached to Nemo. – Evidence can be provided."

Please note: This article previously said Mr Mackenzie has not replied but since publication he has sent our reporter the statement also sent to parents.