Offers rejected for Hornsea Seaside centre

Mary Creagh MP, Elaine Dawson and Stuart'Boothman, from the Hornsea Support Group, and Coun Olivia Rowley

Mary Creagh MP, Elaine Dawson and Stuart'Boothman, from the Hornsea Support Group, and Coun Olivia Rowley

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ATTEMPTS to keep a seaside school open are hanging in the balance after the council announced it would now sell the building for any purpose.

Three different parties submitted business plans to Wakefield Council with the aim of keeping the Hornsea Outdoor Residential Centre running as an education centre.

But the council’s director of finance Judith Badger said this week that none of them was viable and the property would be offered on the open market in February or March.

She said: “All interested parties will be able to submit bids for the property, which is suitable for a wide range of uses subject to planning.”

Stuart Boothman, secretary of Hornsea Support Group, said his group’s bid was rejected on the grounds that they did not have enough money to take on the centre’s current staff.

He said: “I am disappointed that the council seems to have moved away from keeping this property as an education centre. They are now just looking for any use that will allow them to sell it.”

Mr Boothman said his group would continue to work with a range of partners in the hope of strengthening their bid.

He said: “We are left needing more money or a partnership with somebody who is interested and has money - but our aims remain the same.

“For us, it is about keeping the centre open as an education centre to continue to support children in Wakefield.”

The Hornsea centre opened in 1937 and has been a popular destination for school trips ever since.

Council bosses announced last year that it could not afford costs needed to modernise the centre and that it would have to close.

They invited voluntary and charitable groups to come up with plans to keep it open.