* UCLAN is moving out of Tyn Dwr Hall.
BOSSES say they will do all they can to avoid compulsory job cuts when the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) pulls out of Llangollen’s historic Tyn Dwr Hall later this year.The university took over the Victorian mansion in 2009 and spent £2 million on refurbishing the building which has since been used as a centre to prepare students for careers working outdoors, through tree climbing and living in Mongolian-style tents in the grounds.
But, as part of a major cost-cutting exercise, UCLAN now says it has decided to cease to deliver these activities at the hall from this autumn.
A UCLAN spokesman said: “Following a review of operational activity and academic need, the university has decided to use alternative facilities to the Tyn Dwr Outdoor Centre.
“The centre is currently used to deliver elements of courses run through the School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors, and it will cease to deliver these activities at Tyn Dwr from the end of the 2013/14 academic year.“In future years, the university will deliver these activities in other parts of its estate or by using external providers when required.”
The spokesman added: “The decision comes as part of the university’s need to achieve recurrent cost savings of £10 million from its non-academic cost base by 2015, while still protecting and enhancing the student experience.“We are committed to consulting with the recognised trade unions and staff with a view to minimise, mitigate and reduce any staff reductions through a variety of means including voluntary redundancy, TUPE transfers if appropriate and redeployment.
“The university will do all that it can to avoid compulsory redundancies.”The hall, which dates back to the 1860s and is reputed to be haunted, was given a fanfare opening following a £2 million facelift in February, 2009.
Tyn Dwr Hall was built by John Dicken, an iron master, as a holiday home for himself and his family, with the estate covering roughly 12,00 acres, including much of the Berwyn Mountains.In later years it became a youth hostel and in 2006 when it was earmarked for closure there was an unsuccessful campaign to save it.
The university spokesman did not reveal how many staff are currently employed at the hall or what is likely to happen to the building once UCLAN moves out.Llangollen Chamber of Trade & Tourism said in a statement: “Llangollen Chamber of Trade & Tourism is saddened to hear the news about the forthcoming closure of Tyn Dwr Hall by UCLAN.
“This is devastating news for the existing employees and yet another example of the damage caused by expenditure cuts in local government, particularly in the education sector such as this.
“We can only hope that a buyer is found very soon and can offer some safeguarding of employment opportunities for the employees currently working there.”
County Councillor Stuart Davies said: "I am horrified to hear about the job losses at Tyn Dwr, coming on top of the proposed redundancies from Dobsons it is even more important that we push for more job making opportunities in the town.
"Work is ongoing to facilitate more job making opportunities. I continue to liaise with AMs to further these aims and to try and safeguard existing jobs."