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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 12:33 GMT
Lakes info centres axed in cuts
Lake District
Millions of visitors flock to the Lake District every year
The number of public information centres in the Lake District is to be cut to save money.

At least three centres are to close as part of a review. Six staff are to be found jobs at other sites.

The Lake District National Park Authority says centres at Seatoller, Waterhead and Pooley Bridge will not reopen after the winter break.

Earlier this week the authority was saved from having to axe free guided walks by a mystery cash sponsor.

The authority, which is faced with "acute budget problems", says the closures will save it 40,000.

An authority spokesman said: "The three affected centres are the least used information centres, and all have other centres nearby which will be able to deal with inquiries from visitors and local residents.

"The larger review of all the authority's information centres will take place in an attempt to reduce duplication with other organisations providing similar services."

We simply cannot afford to keep doing everything we currently do
Kerry Powell, Lake District National Park Authority

Corporate Finance Director Kerry Powell said the savings were needed to balance next year's budget.

The authority says it is facing an expected shortfall of 667,000 over the next two years and a further 873,000 in 2007/8.

Ms Powell added: "We need to withdraw from some services and streamline others.

"We also need to keep up our investment in priority areas, such as planning and countryside access, and attract more external income.

"We simply cannot afford to keep doing everything we currently do.

"The fuller review will look more closely at how we can withdraw and disinvest from information centre services over the next three years.

"However by not re-opening these centres this summer, we have the opportunity to start making savings."




SEE ALSO:
Walkers help to repair footpaths
06 Feb 05 |  Cumbria


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