A FORMER outdoor education centre is set to be sold off by Newport council following its closure.

Talybont Outdoor Centre closed last month after Monmouthshire council ended the Gwent Outdoor Education Service Partnership, which it had led with Newport, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent councils since 1996.

The converted railway station was one of three sites offering reduced-cost outdoor education as part of the service.

The decision to end the partnership was made after funding for the service was withdrawn by Newport and Torfaen councils, while Blaenau Gwent also indicated it would end its contribution.

A review found the Talybont site had been making a loss for several years, with a decline in the number of trips to the site.

During the last academic year, 25 Newport school residential trips took place across the three sites, but only three of those were at Talybont.

It was decided that for the outdoor education service to be "more sustainable" in the long term it would operate from the remaining two sites - Hilston Park near Monmouth and Gilwern Outdoor Centre near Abergavenny - both owned by Monmouthshire council.

The Talybont site has been returned to owners Newport council, which is now proposing to declare it surplus to requirements and to dispose of the freehold.

It is likely the property, located in the village of Talybont–on-Usk, will be offered for sale through a national auction company, to get the widest marketing opportunity available, according to a council report.

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Maintenance costs of £4,200 have been paid by Newport council during the first nine months of this financial year.

This is likely to increase if the building were to be kept due to its 'ageing' state.

Money from the sale of the centre would be reinvested in the council's capital programme.

"The education service will work with Monmouthshire County Council to assist with closing the facility and dealing with any staffing implications," the report adds.

"There are likely to be redundancies and these will be managed by Monmouthshire County Council, however all local authorities that are part of the Joint Outdoor Education framework would be expected to contribute to this."

Two members of staff, a site co-ordinator and cook, were to be made redundant as a result of the closure, according to council documents.

The decision to declare the site surplus to requirements and dispose of it is due to be made as a joint cabinet member decision, by Cllrs Gail Giles and Mark Whitcutt, on Friday.