An activity centre used by Redbridge schools for over 50 years will close next year.  

The decision to shut Glasbury Outdoor Education Centre in south Wales was agreed during a cabinet meeting last night at Ilford Town Hall.

Since 1963, it has been run by the council as an outdoor activity centre providing adventurous 'hands on' activities such as canoeing, rock climbing and kayaking, for up to 1,800 pupils a year. 

The Labour leadership announced last month it was looking to sell Glasbury House by August 2015, as part of £70million savings over the next three years. 

Its future had previously been under threat in 2011 when the former administration agreed to cut its annual subsidy of £225,000, but a year later, in March 2012, the plan was scrapped and a revised savings option was implemented. 

The level of subsidy has been reduced from £105,000 in 2012 to £65,000 for this financial year, but the council's budget made no allocation of £175,000 needed to operate Glasbury. 

Conservative councillor's Joyce Ellen Ryan, of Fairlop ward, Paul Canal, of Bridge ward, and Suzanne Nolan, of Snaresbrook ward, called for the decision to be deferred for a year. 

Cllr Ryan said: "We deeply regret not putting more money in as it has always been incredible value for money. 

"It is a unique venue that offers a unique experience and not every child is lucky enough to ever visit a facility like Glasbury." 

Eight permanent staff will be made redundant and the centre is scheduled to close in August 2015.

Money saved through the closure will be re-invested into educational facilities in the borough such as Fairlop Water, cabinet said.

But councillor Nolan argued "Fairlop will never offer a similar or comparable experience."

Deputy council leader and cabinet member for health and well-being, councillor Wes Streeting, accused Conservative councillors of "political expediency".

"I have already tried to throw Glasbury a lifeline in the last six months, but we are facing eye-watering levels of cuts over the next four years," he said.

"I’m not willing to play political games when there are jobs at risk and I have chosen to safeguard the leisure and cultural offer by supporting facilities in the borough.

"The assumption that by closing the centre deprived kids will not see a blade of grass outside the M25 is complete lunacy."