Dovecote Centre in shock closure
Northumberland County Council have announced that the Dovecote Centre will close from 25 July.
The building was home to adult learning classes, keep fit classes, Busy Bees Nursery and Dovecote toddler group.
Tracey Dixon of Busy Bees nursery told The Ambler they had no prior warning of the closure “ It was an awful shock,” she said. “We are looking for premises, so if anyone can help us we would be grateful.”
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “The adult learning service has found that it will be able to offer courses in the Amble area, in local venues, without the need to fund the cost of a full time centre.
“The move will help to ensure that the service is sustainable into the future, and to keep course prices down. These are challenging financial times for the council, and the service has also lost over £500,000 through the ending of Government grants for community learning.
“We have given notice to the toddler group and other building users, and explained that this has not been an easy decision.
“The council is reviewing the use of all buildings – and we have already identified opportunities to generate over £33million in capital income, contribute significantly to economic growth and regeneration and make annual savings in running costs of £3.4million by selling off surplus buildings and ensuring all remaining properties are fit for purpose.”
The Dovecote Centre is owned by the Diocese of Newcastle and has been leased to Northumberland County Council for decades.
A spokesman said: “The Diocese of Newcastle has only just been advised of the closure of the Dovecote Centre by Northumberland County Council, and will be reviewing the future of this former school building shortly.”
When asked, the council’s adult learning service had no information on any future venue for classes, but said they would let us know as soon as they could.
If you can help Busy Bees, who need premises for 15 hours per week, 3 hours per day, morning or afternoon, please contact Tracey Dixon on 0772 8622221 firstname.lastname@example.org