A CENTRE offering crucial employment and learning advice is to close down.

The New Direction facility on Archway Road, Caversham, will shut its doors in July 2017.

The centre, which is rated 'Good' by Ofsted and was given a 9.2 out of 10 satisfaction score by its users, will no longer offer adults skills and employment advice.

Instead its services will be moved into existing multi-purpose sites in Emmer Green and Tilehurst.

At the same time the New Directions centre on Northumberland Avenue in Whitley will benefit from a £260,000 investment.

The money will be spent on a cafe/drop-in area for staff and parents, office space, new flooring and a pottery and art space relocated from Caversham.

The decisions were made at a council policy committee on March 13. 

Councillor Tony Jones, lead councillor for education, said: “New Directions offers excellent adult learning courses and I am pleased the Council is able to invest in its centre in south Reading where provision is in high demand.

“Substantial cuts in the Council’s funding from central government means we are looking at ways of making the best possible use of our buildings and disposing of properties which become surplus to requirement.

“New Directions will continue to deliver courses in Caversham utilising other venues in line with its strategy to ensure everyone has access to its services across the borough.”

Work on the Northumberland Avenue centre is expected to be completed by September 2017.