AN OUTDOOR education centre has been given a helping hand in its battle to stay open after being officially registered on Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's Community Asset Register.
Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre in Stanley, which is owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, was nominated to be included on the register by parish and county councillor Christina Jebb as a member of Stanley Head Ltd.
In her nomination form Mrs Jebb stated: "Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre provides training and outdoor activities for 6,000 young people each year.
"The children come mainly from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, including school children from the Staffordshire Moorlands.
"Instructor training is also provided as well as family activities for weekends and holiday times and some corporate training events.
"In December 2010, it was proposed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council that the centre should close to meet required budget cuts.
"So we established Stanley Head Ltd in 2011 as a charity and a company limited by guarantee, to safeguard the provision of outdoor education at Stanley Head for young people within Staffordshire Moorlands and to give residents of all ages within the Staffordshire Moorlands area access to outdoor education at the Centre and further afield, including mountain pursuits in the Flash area.
"Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre is the only centre in the area for outdoor education and local people would have to travel much further to find an alternative."
Speaking about the centre being officially registered by the district council, with no objections, Mrs Jebb said: "I greatly welcome the support from the district council for this valuable community asset in Stanley which provides outdoor education for 6,000 young people every year."
Stoke City Council has now said that it will keep the centre open until at least July 2014.
District council officers have assessed the nomination and confirmed that Stanley Head Limited is eligible to make the nomination; The land and buildings are not exempt from listing; The land and buildings are used and in the past five years to further the social well-being and social interests of the local community as defined by the Localism Act 2011 and this use is not ancillary; It is realistic to think that the building or land will continue to be used in a way which will further the social well-being and social interests of the community within the next five years.
By registering a property as a Community Asset it means that it cannot be sold for six months to give the community notification and an opportunity to get funds together to buy the property itself should it wish to do so.
But, owners of properties listed by the council can appeal the decision of the council to list their property as an asset of community value and if successful recover their costs.