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Closure of Devon disability support centre to affect more than 800 people

The site in Newton Abbot supports more than 800 adults and children with profound physical and learning difficulties. Credit: ITV West Country

A centre in Devon which supports people with disabilities is set to close, affecting more than 800 adults and children who use the facility.

The Dame Hannah Roger's Trust has announced they will be closing their site in Newton Abbot because of high running costs.

The trust, which provides learning, care and support to children and adults with disabilities, moved into the Sealey-Hayne site in 2010 for more than three million pounds.

The decision was made to sell the site in Newton Abbot because of financial difficulties. Credit: ITV West Country

In the past eight years the charity has spent more than one million pounds on repairing and maintaining the site. They also built a Bistro café and health and wellbeing centre.

The charity said staff and volunteers have "worked tirelessly" over the past 18 months to try and make the Newton Abbot site financially viable, but the decision had to be made to sell the site.

28-year-old Eric Hewes has cerebral palsy and now faces losing his job at the centre. Credit: ITV West Country

Eric Hewes is one of the staff members who now faces losing his job when the centre closes.

The 28-year-old has cerebral palsy and has struggled with his mental health. Five years ago the trust gave him an opportunity to work for them, something he said has been life-changing.

Chair of Trustees at Dame Hannah Roger's Trust, Professor David Coslett, said:

We are saddened that we have had to make the decision to sell Seale-Hayne. We appreciate the hard work and commitment of all involved, especially staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to try and make Seale-Hayne financially viable. Unfortunately the high running costs and forecast further losses have led to the decision to prepare the site for sale. We will continue to concentrate our efforts on the charity's ongoing services for vulnerable clients at Ivybridge.

– Professor David Coslett, Chair of Trustees

The charity's Ivybridge site will remain open to continue supporting children and adults with physical and learning difficulties.