Campaigners bid to save hall
Campaigners trying to save an outdoor education centre have now submitted a "robust" business plan to Leicestershire County Council.
The Friends of Aberglaslyn Hall, in Snowdonia – which is owned by the county council – said they would open up the hall at weekends for uses other than education, to ensure its financial future was viable.
At present, the hall is only used by school parties on educational visits. It cost the council £56,851 in subsidies over the past financial year.
The council has proposed closing the hall and selling it.
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But campaigner Roy Loveday, who has helped submit the business case, said: "There are lots of other activities and groups which may want to base themselves at Aberglaslyn, including reenactment groups, Scout and Brownie organisations and students studying for Duke of Edinburgh awards.
"The centre could also be opened up to universities for various field studies, as well as hen and stag parties and specialist outdoor courses.
"There's a multitude of options, but we're restricted somewhat from securing them until the council gives us the go-ahead.
"We believe we have a very robust business plan in place and that the future of the centre is more than viable.
"It's about making sure it is commercially profitable through all its activities and much of that is going to be about opening it up to others when it's not being used by schools."
The council is closing another outdoor education centre, Quorn Hall, with the loss of more than 20 jobs at the end of December. It had subsidised the hall to the tune of £254,000 in the previous financial year.
However, it will retain Beaumanor Hall, in Woodhouse, as an outdoor education centre, despite paying subsidies of £98,704 during the same period.
Aberglaslyn remains very popular with schools and bookings have already been taken for next year.
Campaigners are trying to raise money for immediate start-up costs – now estimated to be in the region of £10,000 to £20,000.
Mr Loveday said: "If necessary, we will take out a loan to cover this."
A county council spokesman said: "We're keen to explore the possibility of a community group or trust running Aberglaslyn. We are reviewing all submissions and will present a report to the council's cabinet next month.
"If they don't offer a workable solution, it was agreed Aberglaslyn would be closed on August 31, 2013, and sold."
The hall's 50th anniversary takes place next year and the Friends would like to hear from people who have memories or photos to share. E-mail: