Jobless centre has to shut in cash crisis

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A CENTRE helping unemployed people in Todmorden has closed its doors because of funding problems.

Nine people lost their jobs when the Acorn Centre in Burnley Road shut after it was decided the building will be sold to pay debts.

The centre, which provided training, services and advice to hundreds of unemployed people, had been open for almost a decade.

It largely relied on the Future Jobs Fund, which provides jobs for those who have been out of work for a considerable time.

Residents also donated and the centre was able to stay open for a short time following crisis talks in November.

A trustee said: “Unfortunately, fund-raising has not been sufficient to cover costs and creditors.

“The trustees had been negotiating with another much larger charity with a view of merging but the pressure of time and actions of creditors made this impossible. The only action left was to put the company in voluntary liquidation.

“We are so grateful to the staff, who have been faithful and supportive until the end.

“We also had magnificent volunteers and friends. We would hope there is someone who could possibly purchase the building for a similar purpose.”

Pat Asquith, former deputy chair of social services at Calderdale Council, said: “It was very well used and a good provision in Todmorden and if it is not reinstated it is a serious loss.”

Councillor Barry Collins, portfolio holder for economy and environment at Calderdale Council, said: “I am very saddened to hear the Acorn Centre has closed. The council was particularly concerned for those people benefiting from placements through the Future Jobs Fund.

“We have been working to ensure all the people on the scheme have found alternative employment.”

lShould the Acorn Centre have been saved? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk