Dame Hannah Rogers Trust disabled centre to close

Dame Hannah Rogers Trust at Seale-Hayne Image copyright Google
Image caption The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust at Seale-Hayne opened in 2010

A centre that supports more than 800 adults and children with disabilities is to close, with the loss of 40 jobs.

The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust is closing at Seale-Hayne, Devon, and selling the 90-acre site where it is located, the charity said.

It is being put up for sale in the new year because it is "not generating enough income to sustain services".

The charity said 50 independent businesses operating at the site and surrounding areas would be unaffected.

'High running costs'

Those include a bistro, coffee shop, several shops, a gallery and offices. However, it is not known at this stage what a buyer would do as a new landlord.

The charity's work at the site includes training, some employment, learning placements, and experiences such as outdoor pursuits centre, horticulture and arts.

It said it supported more than 800 people with physical and learning disabilities, and their families.

Image caption A mural of Dame Hannah Rogers is at Seale-Hayne

Services for young adults with disabilities run a separate centre in Ivybridge were to continue as normal, the trust said.

But it did not say what effect the closure would have on those who used just the Seale-Hayne facilities.

Jobs which will be lost include posts in catering, leisure, admin and events management. Many of those staff have additional needs themselves.

Chair of trustees Professor David Coslett said he was "saddened" the trust had to make the decision to sell Seale-Hayne and said staff were told on Tuesday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, the high running costs and forecast further losses have led to the decision to prepare the site for sale," he said.

The Seale-Hayne site opened in 2010 after the trust bought the former agricultural college near Newton Abbot for £3.2m and carried out more than £1m of improvements.

History of Dame Hannah Rogers Trust

  • "Hannahs" was founded in 1767 through a £10,000 legacy from Dame Hannah Rogers, the wife of a Plymouth MP
  • In 1925, Hannahs opened one of the UK's first orthopaedic hospitals at Ivybridge, on the edge of Dartmoor
  • Thirty years later, it was the first to open a school for children with cerebral palsy
  • In 2008, the trust opened "Hannahwood", a programme for 19 to 25 year olds offering residential placements and short breaks

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