Stoke & Staffordshire

Bucknall City Farm's final weekend

A council-funded farm in Stoke-on-Trent, which is closing due to budget cuts, is welcoming visitors for its final weekend.

City Farm in Bucknall costs £175,00 a year to run and is closing under measures to help the Labour-led city council make £35.6m savings in 2011-12.

New homes have been found for the farm's 124 animals.

The Friends of Bucknall Park City Farm said it was disappointed the farm was closing after more than 30 years.

The farm employs four full-time staff who run educational programmes and offer work experience to people with disabilities.

John Taylor, a spokesman for the friends group, said: "We get a lot of nursery schools and special needs pupils visiting who really enjoy meeting the animals, and the work placements for people with disabilities helps to teach them life skills, so it's very sad it's closing."

The council tried to find a buyer for the farm which had 85,000 visitors last year, but it ran out of time for the tendering process, due to an outstanding land ownership query.

The council said once it had resolved the ownership issue it would try to restart the tendering process.

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