Machynlleth's Centre of Alternative Technology is to close to visitors indefinitely this week with up to 14 people told that they're at risk of losing their jobs.

The pioneering eco centre which celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer said the closure of the current visitor centre to walk-in visitors was made due to a number of factors during a challenging time for the charity sector in the UK.

The Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) added that it remains "strongly committed" to its proposed redevelopment plans which currently remains under consideration for funding from the Mid Wales Growth Deal and other sources which has yet to be secured.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, CAT said: "The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) confirms with a heavy heart the closure of its visitor centre to day visitors from Thursday, November 9. It will remain open for students, pre-booked group visits, events, and courses.

“Sadly, 14 positions are at risk at CAT and a full consultation is taking place across at least 14 days. Staff wellbeing is of utmost priority, and CAT is providing specialist support to staff during this difficult time.

“This decision has been made due to a number of factors, during a challenging time for the charity sector in the UK.

"The combination of rising running costs, reduced visitor numbers to Wales post-pandemic and funding delays have made it economically inviable to continue operating the visitor centre in its current model — despite CAT’s best efforts to mitigate these factors.

“The closure of the current visitor centre to day visitors will, however, allow CAT to focus on strengthening economically viable aspects of its operations — helping deliver on its mission to create and share practical solutions to tackle the climate and nature emergency."

The CAT has previously confirmed it wants to build new "world class" facilities, and it is one of the projects being considered in the Mid Wales Growth Deal. It says it remains committed to that plan and would reopen the visitor centre once the cash is in place, but the funding has not yet been confirmed and its current issues are related to its ongoing financial position.

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The statement added: “CAT remains strongly committed to its proposed wider redevelopment plans, which feature significant improvements to the visitor offer.

"These proposals remain under consideration for funding from the Mid Wales Growth Deal and other sources. Once secured, these funds will ensure CAT can re-open to day visitors, providing additional tourism and education opportunities for the communities of Mid Wales and beyond.

“In the meantime, the Graduate School of the Environment, short course delivery and Zero Carbon Britain Hub and Innovation Lab are unaffected — allowing CAT to continue its vital work in providing green skills for the future.

“As a charity, CAT relies on income from visitors, learners and supporters to cover the costs of its environmental education and research provisions. If you would like to make a donation to CAT, and for further information, please visit the CAT website.”