Plea for rethink on Earnley centre closure

CALLS for the lid to be lifted on why a popular learning centre in Earnley will close continue to fall on deaf ears.

The Observer has received dozens of letters regarding the announcement the Earnley Concourse, which offers a range of creative adult courses, will close on December 19.

Although it has been mooted the dire economic situation is at fault, there has been no firm statement from the trustees as to why it is being shut down.

They said they would not comment any further beyond this statement which was issued on Friday: “Operations will be suspended at the end of this year and Earnley Concourse will officially close on December 19, 2011.

“Please note that courses and all other activities will take place, as scheduled, until December 19.”

West Wittering resident Perdi Goldsmith called for the trustees to re-think their decision.

She said: “This is a very precious facility and it would be a huge loss to the local community and the wider artistic world in all areas.

“Please can the trustees re-think their decision.

“It doesn’t always come down to hard cash.

“I do appreciate that in this economic climate, life is difficult, but is there no way around the problems Earnley might have?

“Perhaps some lateral thinking is required, after all we have all known about growing economic problems for the past couple of years or so.”

Mrs M Goodsir travels from Petersfield to use the centre.

She said: “I am sure increased fees would be supported by attendees but it would seem the financial situation has become too serious to be sorted by such measures.

“Perhaps only a massive cash injection can save Earnley, and where would that come from?

“I can’t imagine such a distressing decision was taken lightly.”