AN ADULT educational college will close after racking up a £1.6m debt.
Liverpool Council spent £284,000 subsidising Burton Manor, in Neston, last year, even though only 158 adult students from the city were taught at the college, which offers residential courses.
It will close at the end of March after the council told governors it was cutting its budget by 25% in 2011 and a further 25% the year after.
Town hall officials will now write to Education Secretary Michael Gove to ask permission for the grandiose Grade II-listed building to be sold.
Cllr Nick Small, head of the college’s governors, said the decision became inevitable.
He added: “The Government settlement means the council has got no choice. It has to focus on frontline services and unfortunately Burton Manor is not one of them.
“The college has racked up a huge deficit and it is just not sustainable.”
Closing Burton Manor was repeatedly suggested by council officials each year as they went through the budget-setting process. Supporters of the premises believe it has struggled in recent times because of a lack of investment and an unwillingness by city officials to properly use its facilities.
The building was originally owned by Henry Neville Gladstone, third son of former Prime Minister William Gladstone, between 1904 and 1921.
Burton Manor opened in 1948 and offers courses ranging from photography to literature, music and dance, at evenings and on residential weekends.