Earnley education centre shuts its doors

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EMPLOYEES, tutors and students at the highly-regarded Earnley Concourse enjoyed the last weekend of study there before it officially closed on Monday.

Among the last courses to be held were a series of lectures on Verdi’s Othello led by Portsmouth-based musicologist Terry Barfoot and life drawing led by Bridget Woods.

Chief executive Owain (cor) Roberts said the weekend had been fully booked with six courses running.

The centre’s trustees decided to close the centre – which employed 41 people – following financial difficulties experienced as a result of the economic downturn. It said there had been reduced occupany levels.

Students had expressed disappointment at the closure, saying it would be a great loss, would have a detrimental impact on users’ lives as well as having a negative effect on the local economy.

Many of its supporters contacted the Observer about the closure and campaigned to keep it open.

The centre attracted around 5,000 people each year.