Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 17:00 UK

Under-threat Legion home for sale

Crosfield House
Crosfield House in Rhayader is home to more than 50 residents

The only Royal British Legion (RBL) home in Wales, which is under threat of closure, is being put up for sale as a going concern.

The RBL says Crosfield House in Rhayader, Powys, which is home to 54 elderly ex-servicemen and others, will close if a buyer cannot be found.

It employs up to 90 staff, and it emerged last year that it had a forecast deficit of £500,000.

Its future has been hanging in the balance for more than a year.

In June 2008 there was renewed hope for Crosfield House when local councillors travelled to London to meet the RBL.

However, the home failed to break even at the end of the last financial year and officials decided it had to be sold.

We're putting the home on the market as a going concern, but closure is a possibility if we cannot find a buyer
Royal British Legion

An RBL spokesman said: "It's not our intention to close Crosfield House, it's to sell it.

"We're putting the home on the market as a going concern, but closure is a possibility if we cannot find a buyer."

If Crosfield House closes, the legion said it would work with residents and Powys council to find suitable alternative homes for the 50 residents.

The RBL said its decision followed "lengthy attempts to secure the future of the home in Rhayader".

Last year, it said it addressed a number of issues facing Crosfield House - such as attempting to overcome difficulties recruiting staff and implementing building works costing £36,000 to ensure the home complies with national minimum standards.

But its board of trustees decided in June that if Crosfield House could not break even by the end of the financial year, it would be offered for sale.

The spokesman added: "The legion hopes to sell Crosfield House to another care provider - allowing staff and residents to transfer over to them."

Brecon and Radnorshire's Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams and MP Roger Williams have called for an urgent meeting with the RBL.

Ms Williams, leader of the Lib Dems in the Welsh assembly, said: "This is shattering news and a very worrying time for the residents of the home, their families and the staff who work at Crosfield House.

"Given that it has apparently made a final decision to sell the home, it is essential that the Royal British Legion is realistic in its expectations about the sale price, so that an alternative provider can be successfully attracted to buy it as a going concern, for the sake of its residents and to secure the jobs of the staff there."

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