Quorn Hall outdoor education centre set to be sold by Leicestershire County Council
A council-run outdoor education centre looks set to shut, with the loss of 22 jobs.
Leicestershire County Council wants to close Quorn Hall and sell the building.
The decision followed a three-month consultation on the future of three council-run outdoor education centres, which have received a total of almost £410,000 in subsidies in the past financial year.
Some £254,000 of that was on Quorn Hall.
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Under the proposals, Beaumanor Hall, in Woodhouse, would remain open and Aberglaslyn Hall, in Snowdonia, could be transferred to a trust or community group.
Tony Mulhearn, assistant director of children's services, said: "The council doesn't have a statutory duty to provide outdoor education and schools are increasingly choosing other options and providers for this.
"In this austere climate we can't continue to subsidise the centres at this level."
Quorn Hall is a grade II-listed building and has been used as an outdoor education centre since 1983.
The majority of its visitors are from abroad.
In addition, it is used for residential and day visits by Leicestershire schools and youth groups. It also hosts meetings and training events.
Although school visits have increased, bookings for training, meetings and conferences have declined and expenditure has far outweighed income.
Councillor Ivan Ould, county council cabinet member for children's services, said: "The education landscape is shifting significantly and we need to ensure we're redesigning our services in line with changing times and the need to deliver value for money for taxpayers.
"We appreciate this is an unsettling time for staff and would work with them to explore options to minimise any impact."
Some services offered at Quorn would transfer to Beaumanor.
The future of Aberglaslyn hangs in the balance.
The Friends of Aberglaslyn, set up in 2004 when the centre's future was last in doubt, is believed to be one of two parties interested in taking it over.
A campaign to save the centre – built in 1875 and adapted to educational use in the 1970s – was launched by the group in September.
No one from the group was available for comment yesterday.
Councillor Simon Galton, leader of the county council Liberal Democrat group, said: "I'm pleased to see that Beaumanor Hall is being retained and that an outdoor education of some kind is being retained in Leicestershire.
"The hall can be put to many uses and we need to make sure we exploit that."
The proposals will go before the county council's ruling cabinet on April 3.
A report on the future of Aberglaslyn should be available by September.