Magna’s cash woes

Magna Science Adventure Centre

Magna Science Adventure Centre

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The future of Rotherham’s Magna Centre is hanging in the balance with councillors set to consider its financial future.

A report due to go before Rotherham Council Cabinet on Wednesday seeks approval to renew a £250,000 loan to the Magna Trust, to support its short-term running costs.

The authority has already agreed an emergency loan of £100,000 and councillors must now consider whether to continue to provide a £250,000 annual loan as it has done since 2012.

They are also set to call for an urgent independent review of the trust’s future business viability.

Rotherham Council’s deputy leader Coun Emma Hoddinott 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.

“We are conscious 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 to assess its future viability.”

John Silker, chief executive of Magna Trust, said: “We have a robust business plan in place and lots of plans for developments and increased income. We have already seen some massive improvements, such as turnover on the corporate and events side of the business increasing from £730,000 to more than £1m this year.

“The future is looking very positive, with several exciting projects in the pipeline, which could transform Magna, create new jobs and bring further investment.”