Losehill Hall

Losehill Hall

Outdoor enthusiasts concerned about the proposed closure of a renowned Peak District education centre can have their three minutes’ worth at an upcoming meeting.

The national park authority that owns the centre, Losehill Hall near Castleton, said it has already received tenders from four organisations to take over the hall.

These will be considered in a private meeting of the Peak District National Park Authority this Friday 3 December, but members of the public can have their say at the meeting before members enter the closed session.

The controversial planned closure of Losehill Hall is part of savings between £1m and £1.9m the authority estimates it will have to find in response to the coalition Government’s forecast cuts of 20 to 30 per cent.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “Anyone with an interest in the future of the national park’s environmental learning and conference centre at Castleton can register to speak by Thursday 2 December, at noon.

“The authority wants to hear people’s views before it goes into private session to consider confidential business tenders from four organisations.

“All are charitable organisations with varying focuses on young people and environmental education.

“People have already expressed their views through a range of opportunities: an online questionnaire attracted more than 300 responses; a drop-in session was attended by more than 30 people and 85 emails and letters have been received.

“Many also spoke at an authority meeting in September, when it took the decision to discontinue its current services at Losehill Hall by the end of March 2011, to focus a reduced national park learning team on target audiences of young people, and seek partners or purchasers for it.”

The authority said closure of Losehill Hall, which it has run for 40 years, could save an estimated £250,000 a year in running costs.

The hall employs 41people and 45 casual workers.

Anyone wishing to speak at the Friday meeting should ring democratic services on 01629 816200, extension 362 or 382 or by emailing them.

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