Anger as campaigners fail to stop Leicestershire council's sale of Aberglaslyn Hall
Campaigners have lost their fight to stop an outdoor education centre being sold.
The Friends of Aberglaslyn Hall group had hoped to take over the management of the site from Leicestershire County Council, but members were told yesterday their business case had been rejected.
As a result, the centre, in Snowdonia, will close on August 31, and the authority will put it on the market.
Roy Loveday, a spokesman for the Friends, said: "We are surprised and angered.
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"Surprised because we have done everything the county council asked of us and more.
"We have produced a business plan with professional advice and, as a result, a number of business people have offered their services as trustees.
"We are angered because Aberglaslyn Hall is not a redundant piece of real estate.
"It is part of the living heritage of Leicestershire, one that has been delivering outstanding outdoor education for 50 years. Activities at alternative commercial centres do not begin to compare.
"We are angry, too, because this decision makes a mockery of the consultation which initiated our involvement.
"Ninety-two per cent of respondents wanted to retain Aberglaslyn Hall."
The group was told its plans were not viable because of concerns about regular income, staff costs and financial backing.
Nicola Langton's son, Jack, and daughter, Katy, have both been on trips to Aberglaslyn.
Mrs Langton, of Burton Overy, said: "They both enjoyed the experience. It's a shame for it to close.
"Even if there is somewhere similar in Leicestershire, it's not the same as going away."
Friends of Aberglaslyn members urged anyone who has been to or sent their children or grandchildren to the centre to sign an online petition.
Mr Loveday said: "We'll be presenting the petition to David Cameron since the county council has failed to uphold its commitment to a Big Society model for services."
In April, the county council announced it was selling Aberglaslyn and its Quorn Hall education centre, which received £330,000 in subsidies between them a year.
However, after a flurry of protests over Aberglaslyn, councillors agreed to give interested parties six months to come up with a business plan.
The authority plans to plough some of the money from the sale of both sites into Beaumanor Hall, an outdoor learning centre in Woodhouse.
Quorn Hall, which is on sale for £1.75 million, will stop trading on Christmas Eve.
It is not yet known how much Aberglaslyn could be worth.
Discussions are taking place with about 20 staff at Quorn and 10 at Aberglaslyn over redeployment and redundancy.
Byron Rhodes, county council cabinet member for resources, said: "Aberglaslyn and Quorn Halls have been heavily subsidised and we need to re-design services to make sure young people get the best experience.
"Our plans for Beaumanor will eventually offer schools a bigger and better package of outdoor residential activities."
People wishing to sign the petition can find it at: