FEARS have swept across the Faithful City that much of the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust’s ‘great work’ will be lost as the ecological charity prepares to open the Pump House Environment Centre to visitors for the final time tomorrow (Saturday).
As the Trust prepares to hand the keys back to the landlord Worcester City Council by the end of the year, the authority has told the Observer it is now exploring options for the Pump House but has no current plans for it.
The Trust, set up by city legend Cecil Duckworth, revealed in a statement it was reviewing activities associated with the Pump House and would be making a decision about its future direction before it leaves the building.
The doors of the centre in Gheluvelt Park will shut to the public at 4pm on Saturday after the Trustees decided the best opportunity for the Trust to survive was to vacate the Pump House.
The Trustees expressed great sadness and thanked the people of Worcester for their continued support and understanding.
The centre was opened in 2004 to provide information and advice on ecological issues.
Achievements by the charity have included working with volunteers to remove litter and graffiti, creating community gardens and play areas and running a resource exchange to reduce waste going to landfills.
Mr Duckworth, the man behind Worcester Bosch, died in 2020 and the endowment he left has allowed the Trust to continue its work, but this has run out and the lease for the building was up for renewal.
Over the past two years, trustees said they have been looking at alternatives to how they run the café and building.
However, despite running a popular café, they have been unable to cover the costs of being in the building.
Last year the Trust had to close the Worcestershire Resource Exchange, mainly due to cost pressures.
People have taken to social media to voice their concerns.
Heather Bainbridge said many of the activities the Trust used to run were already missed and said there wasn’t a similar organisation in the city able to ‘step into the breach’ should the Trust have to cut back its service to the city.
Another resident, Catherine Williams, said the Pump House was a huge staple in her family which had produced many happy memories over the years.