Tees

Middleton Centre may be closed by Durham County Council

An outdoor activity centre for school children in County Durham could be closed because of council cuts.

Supporters want to keep the Middleton Centre in Middleton-in-Teesdale open and are urging supporters to respond to a consultation.

Durham County Council said "significant budget savings" had to be made.

Campaigner Adam Hearn said it would be "a tragedy" if the centre closed and added a "rescue plan" had been submitted.

'Shortfall remains'

"The plan calls for a low level of support from the council during 2013-14 to allow the staff to explore the opportunities for handing over the centre to a third sector organisation," Mr Hearn said.

"For some young people a trip to Middleton may be the only residential educational visit of their lives."

Phil Hodgson, the council's support and development manager said: "It would be too early to call any of the suggestions put forward a rescue package, especially as the shortfall between income generated and operating costs at the centre remains, but we will consider all viable proposals before any final decision is made."

School trips to the centre offer activities including orienteering and adventure sports.

The council said maintenance work is required on the centre's heating system, roof and kitchen.

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