The planned closure of Staylittle Outdoor Centre early next year has been slammed by the Powys Liberal Democrats.

Reacting to the news, the group has suggested that little has changed at the council since the new Independent/ Conservative Cabinet was formed in May, citing poor financial management as the reason behind service cuts.

Staylittle Outdoor Centre, around seven miles north-west of Llanidloes, is to be withdrawn from the contract with Freedom Leisure, the company that has run the council’s sports and leisure facilities since July 2015, as part of plans to slash its leisure services budgets.

The facility will be closed by April 2018, saving the council £130,000 a year.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat group on Powys County Council, said: “This really is the end of an era.

“Staylittle has been such a valuable resource for the children and young people of Powys, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, including disabled children and young people, who would not otherwise have been able to experience the sort of outdoor activities delivered from the centre.

“This closure will make no significant difference to the council’s overall financial position, which remains dire.

“Decisions like this are being taken to meet often arbitrary targets, with only modest financial savings producing enormous losses of opportunity and service for the people of the county.

“While the Conservatives, when in opposition in the previous council, opposed many of these damaging proposals, now they are in power they implement them.”

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Cllr Rachel Powell, said a marketing exercise was undertaken to see whether the site could be taken over, but there were “no viable options” put forward.