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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Facility for blind to close down
Manor House Rehabilitation Centre
The centre was opened in 1941
A centre in Torquay which has helped thousands of blind and visually impaired people over several decades is to close.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind's Manor House Rehabilitation Centre is being relocated to Taunton.

The centre specialises in helping people who have either lost their sight, or whose sight is deteriorating.

RNIB director Eamonn Fetton said the move would let them expand and improve what they could offer.

Funding shortage

"What we have had in the past is a limited number of services which were seen as national, and I include Manor House in that.

"We are now moving towards having services in every region - that is our vision for the future.

"In every region we want to work in partnership with a mainstream college to provide services nearer to where people are living."

The RNIB announced about 12 months ago that the Manor House centre in Middle Lincombe Road could close.

They blamed a lack of funding, partly caused by a drop in the amount of money being left in wills, and a falling demand for places at the centre.

The Manor House has provided expertise and care for thousands of people since it opened in 1941.

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