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Rehab centre backed by Russell Brand loses its fight for funding

Credit: ITV News Central/PA

The BAC O'Connor drug and alcohol rehab centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme has lost its battle against closure, because of County Council funding cuts.

Comedian Russell Brand had made a passionate plea in favour of saving the centre - where friends of his had been helped with drug and drink addiction.

WATCH: Russell Brand appeals directly to councillors to save rehab centre

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Russell Brand appeals directly to councillors to keep threatened rehab centre open

In an impassioned speech, the comedian looks straight into camera and calls on Staffordshire County Council to consider the long term effects of addicts missing out on therapy.

Yes I do have a message for Staffordshire County Council: I know that you face many difficult decisions around economics. I know you have loads of things like roads and old people and crime but BAC O'Connor and places like it are literally transforming lives.

This is a kind of personal and social alchemy. The money that is spent on getting people clean from drugs and alcohol will pay great dividends in the future. You'll save money on crime, mental health, social disorder, the judicial system.

Think of this as an investment in the future of your county - a necessary investment. They do wonderful work, they're reliable people - creating good citizens for your borough. So please vote with you head and your hearts in favour of continuing to support these wonderful causes."

– Russell Brand

Protest over future of threatened rehabilitation centre backed by Russell Brand

A demonstration is taking place outside Staffordshire County Council, where a debate will take place today about the future of the BAC O'Connor rehabilitation centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The comedian Russell Brand - who has himself struggled with addiction - has visited the centre's sister site in Burton-on-Trent and is a big supporter of the type of abstinence-based addiction therapy provided.

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