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Ribble Valley learning centre to close
AN ADULT learning centre will close its doors next month after Lancashire County Council confirmed it would not be renewing its lease on the property.
The centre in Station Road, Whalley, will shut on October 31, saving £90,000 per year as part of the council’s budget cuts programme.
More than 1,130 people signed up for courses at the centre from 2010/11 but that number dropped to 866 for 2012/13.
The county council said the centre was only used for 32 per cent of the year in 2010/11 and only for 18 per cent in 2012/13.
A council spokesman said that, out of the available 8,400 hours the centre could have been open for, there should have been more than 5,000 enrolments.
County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: "As part of the county council's wider programme to make better use of its buildings, we are not renewing our lease of the Whalley building when it ends on October 31.
“We have been working closely with the landlord and other nursery occupier to make sure that there is a smooth transition.
"People will be aware Lancashire County Council has to make £300m of savings over the next four years, due to government cuts in grant, so every lease is being looked at to see if it is vital to services.
"The site has been underused in recent years as most of the Lancashire Adult Learning courses in East Lancashire take place in local venues such as workplaces, libraries and village halls which we continue to support and champion.
"This approach will continue with other neighbourhood venues being added to help tailor the adult learning service to meet the specific needs of learners in the area."
Whalley resident Sara Shaw said: “It’s a shame that the community is losing this service but if it’s not being used enough then there’s not a lot the council can do.
“There are other centres around that people can go to so I don’t think the impact will be that bad in the long run.”
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