THE listed Trafford Hall near Chester is set to close.

It is the home of the National Communities Resource Centre, a charity which provides training and support to people from low income communities.

It was founded in 1991 by Professor Anne Power, with Richard Rogers, architect, and has helped more than 100,000 people.

But in common with other charities, it has hit hard times and is now being forced to close its trading arm.

Trafford Trading is responsible for delivering all the charity’s services at Trafford Hall.

It is a popular 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 has 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 Anne 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.

“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.”