AN OUTDOOR centre that has been used by thousands of local youngsters is to close its doors for good.
The Hornsea Outdoor Residential Centre, which is owned by Wakefield Council, opened in 1937 and offered pupils across the district a chance to visit the coast and, for many, experience their first holiday.
The council announced plans to close the centre earlier this year due to budget cuts but it was hoped it could be saved after several groups stepped forward to declare an interest in keeping the centre open.
But the council said that none of the proposals would provide a viable long-term future for the centre.
Hornsea was previously subsidised by the Wakefield Schools Forum but this ended a few years ago. The cost of upgrading and modernising the building is estimated at £1.5m.
Nine staff employed at Hornsea have been informed of the closure and the council is looking at redeployment options. The future use of the site is now being looked at and could include the facility and land being sold.
Coun Angela Davies, Upton and North Elmsall parish councillor, had been working with the Hornsea Support Group to save the facility.
She said: “We are all so downhearted, it is such a shame. We had been campaigning to save the centre and were working on getting funding so we could run it but the council said no. We understand there has to be cuts but what they are doing is just horrendous.”
Coun Olivia Rowley, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “It is with great regret and reluctance that, after carefully considering the proposals put forward, we have decided to close Hornsea. We would like to put on record our thanks to the groups who put forward proposals.
“I appreciate that Hornsea is a very valued resource which has been enjoyed by generations of Wakefield schoolchildren for many years and that this decision will cause much sadness.
“But, unfortunately, things have changed over the years. The grant that was subsidising Hornsea has been cut and there are other places for young people to have similar experiences as they have been having at Hornsea.
“We cannot afford the investment needed to keep it open and sadly none of the proposals put forward are viable enough to provide a long-term future for Hornsea.”