Youth work charity closes with the loss of eight jobs

The administrators of Learning South West blame 'significant uncertainty' over its future funding

Learning South West
Learning South West

The education and youth work charity Learning South West has ceased trading with the loss of eight jobs because of "significant uncertainty" about its future funding, the charity’s administrators have confirmed.

The charity, which is based in Taunton, Somerset, supported the professional development of people working with young people and in youth work in south-west England.

It had existed for 68 years and employed 10 staff when it closed, eight of whom have been made redundant.

A statement from the charity’s administrators, Mazars, said the charity ceased trading on 7 April and appointed Mazars on 11 April. No details on the exact nature of the charity’s funding problems have been released.

As well as 10 permanent members of staff, the charity also used large numbers of self-employed consultants to deliver training courses and conferences, the Mazars statement said.

Learning South West had an income of more than £2.5m in the year to the end of March 2015 and about the same amount of expenditure, according to figures on the Charity Commission website.

Tim Ball, a partner at Mazars, said: "It is very sad to see such a long-standing charity, which has helped to transform the lives of so many people, enter administration. The charity, which operated in partnership with various government and national agencies, has faced significant uncertainty with its future funding, leading to the board of trustees reaching this very difficult decision."

Kate Howard, chair of Learning South West, said in a statement that the closure would be a major loss to the further education and skills sector.

"Our staff, through no fault of their own, have seen a great organisation need to take the extremely difficult decision to close," she said.

"We admire the exceptional commitment and expertise of the staff. They as a team have raised the profile of Learning South West and ensured the organisation delivered a quality service for its partners and learners. Their expertise and professionalism have set the standard for an organisation that will not be forgotten.

"We must also, in spite of an austere and forbidding world, remember to hold fast to our deep values and continue to commend those exceptional organisations and their staff teams who help all learners and young people achieve their goals."

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