Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham's Magna Science Adventure Centre to get 'no new money'

Magna Science Adventure Centre Image copyright M J Richardson
Image caption Magna opened on the former Templeborough steelworks in 2001

There will be "no new money" for a struggling tourist attraction but councillors have agreed to extend the time for repayment of its loans.

Magna Science Adventure Centre owes Rotherham Council £440,000.

Under a proposal put forward by the authority, Magna would have up to 15 years to repay the money.

The council say the plan, due to go before full council next month, will secure Magna's immediate future and minimise the risk to public money.

Council leader Chris Read said closing the attraction would result in the loss of up to 80 jobs and force the council to write off hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt.

'Big future'

He said: "By working with the trustees to restructure the council's debts and make repayment manageable, we will keep this popular visitor attraction open and maximise the opportunity for the taxpayer to see the loans returned to the Council."

Earlier this month a report for the council by Price Waterhouse Coopers described Magna as "a fragile business [that] lacks financial resilience".

Magna opened on the former Templeborough steelworks in 2001 and gets 120,000 visitors a year.

It currently has two outstanding; a £190,000 long-term loan secured against a building and a £250,000 short term loan.

John Silker, chief executive of the trust which runs the attraction, said he believed it had a "big future ahead of it".

He said: "With this assurance now in place we can look forward confidently, and look at exploring more commercial opportunities over the coming months."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites