Rotherham’s Magna Centre which has hosted gigs by Pulp and Kaiser Chiefs facing uncertain future

Stock pic Rotherham - Magna Science Adventure Centre.
Stock pic Rotherham - Magna Science Adventure Centre.

The future of a science adventure park is hanging in the balance amid concerns over its running costs.

Members of Rotherham Council’s cabinet deferred their decision over a plan to continue offering financial support for the Magna Centre in Rotherham.

Councillors have asked for an independent business review of the Magna Trust, which runs the facility, to be conducted before they decide wether or not to renew an annual £250, 000 loan.

A report on the review’s conclusions is due to be presented back to the council later this year. The authority is then expected to make a decision on if it is to release the funding package.

The authority has already agreed an emergency loan of £100,000 in January to help the venue cover essential immediate running costs.

The venue employs more than 80 people and attracts about 100, 000 visitors a year.

Councillor Emma Hoddinott, deputy council leader, said: “Magna has loans outstanding to the council of more than half a million pounds and has not been able to reduce the debt it owes to the council since the end of March last year.

“Magna approached the council to seek further urgent assistance in order to meet a short term cash flow shortfall, and this finance was made available. There are more than 80 people employed by the trust, whose jobs would have been in immediate doubt had provision not been made available. However, we are working closely with Magna on their business plan.”

John Silker, chief executive of Magna Trust, said there are new projects in the pipeline designed to create new jobs and to keep the centre going.