Charity forced to close Trafford Hall due to "economic uncertainty"

Local Cheshire landmark Trafford Hall is to close after 25 years. Trafford Hall is the home of the National Communities Resource Centre,a charity which provides training and support to people from low income communities across the UK. It was founded in 1991 by Professor Anne Power, with Richard Rogers, architect, and to date, has helped over 100,000 people. But in common with many other charities, it has hit hard times and is now being forced to  close its trading arm. Trafford Hall Trading is responsible for delivering  all the charity's services to Trafford Hall - a listed building set in 14 acres of woodland and stunning gardens just outside Chester. It's a popular local venue for weddings, parties and conferences as well as offering B+B. All the profits from these activities go to support the work of the charity. But in the past few months, bookings have dropped and the Hall is being forced to close. The charity has had to suspend its activities while a solution is sought. As a result, all 25 staff are being made redundant.

Professor Ann Power, Chair of the NCRC, said: "The decision to close down Trafford Trading and to pause the activities of the NCRC has been extremely difficult, but we were left with no choice as we could no longer fund our work.

"With Government funding gone and charitable funding severely overstretched due to austerity cuts, the income we generate from  bookings at Trafford Hall is now our main source of funding.

"The current economic uncertainties and reductions in spending have played a major part in organisations reducing what they spend on venues like Trafford Hall.

"We put in place a five-year plan two years ago and, until late last year, our progress looked positive. Unfortunately, since then sales have fallen sharply and our cash flow situation has become critical.

"It is therefore with deep regret that we reluctantly had to take the decision to close Trafford Trading, and to temporarily pause the activities of the charity.

"We are very fortunate to have a number of loyal supporters who we will  be working with to restructure the charity and develop a viable plan for a way forward.

"Everyone connected with the NCRC is passionate about the work we do with low income communities to help low income communities tackle harsh environmental, social, and economic problems, working with young people, families, tenant representatives and frontline staff. We are determined to find a new way to build upon what has been achieved during the last quarter of a century."

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