Activity centre Glasbury House set to be saved from the axe by Redbridge Council
An under-threat outdoor activity centre used by schools across Redbridge is set to be saved after a campaign to rescue it from the brink of closure.
The centre, on the banks of the River Wye in Hereford, was to have its annual �255,000 subsidy axed by Redbridge Council.
But the Recorder has been told a proposed amendment from the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition will be tabled at tonight’s budget meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.
It will propose funding that looks set to secure the future of Glasbury House for the next three years.
The annual �255,000 subsidy will be spread over the next three financial years, with �105,000 in 2012/13, �85,000 in 2013/14 and �65,000 in 2014/15.
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A “underspend” on borrowing costs in 2011/12 is cited as being the reason why money is now available to spend on the council-owned education centre.
The council has also said “anticipated additional levels of income” from in increases in course fees from �220 to �280 per child, a review of fees for all other users and increasing client numbers will allow for the three-year funding.
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All schools in Redbridge have also been asked to pay �1,000 a year towards Glasbury House, with positive responses from schools being factored into the figures.
The amendment, issued to councillors this afternoon, says: “This growth item proposes the re-introduction of a lower level of subsidy that will enable a phased withdrawal of the subsidy to Glasbury House over the three-year period to 2014/15.
“The longer time frame for the subsidy withdrawal will give more time for options to be explored that would deliver a more efficient business model for the continued operation of Glasbury House.
“The reduction in subsidy assumes that through the increase of charges the existing level of business is retained and grown.
“The centre staff are confident that this can be achieved in year one of the subsidy reduction however in years two and three it will be considerably more challenging without compromising the health and safety of young people.
“The position of the centre will be kept under regular review.”
The Labour group was due to put forward an amendment to the budget tonight to keep Glasbury open for the next year as part of a “leisure and culture rescue package”.
The money would keep the centre open “whilst options to save the facility are properly considered and subjected to scrutiny”.