A WELL-LOVED community centre is due to close in Teignmouth after running out of cash.

The Kingsway Meadow Centre was in desperate need of funding and trustees running the operation, which has been providing help and support to residents for decades, took the ‘difficult’ decision to close.

The poor state of the building, which belongs to Teignbridge Council and is leased to the centre, along with increasing difficulties sourcing grant funding led to the closure this week.

Two members of staff are employed at the centre which has been providing a youth club, bingo sessions, exercise classes, a play group, a social hub for parents and carers as well as space for meetings, social events and a base for the much-needed food larder.

But it has become a struggle to source funding and grants and with no surplus cash, it was not considered financially viable to continue.

Sabrina Merilees, who used the centre as a child and now with her own children, said it was ‘absolutely devastating’

She said: ‘We as a community are desperate, we have always been tight knit and the Meadow Centre and its managers have provided a lifeline to lots of people.’

Without the centre, she says, there will be nowhere for the youth club, playgroups and the elderly to go or for a foodbank.

She fears, when closed, the site will be sold off for housing, leaving families with ‘nowhere to go’.

She said: ‘This is a centre that caters for all generations and has been around for a long time.’

Built in the 1960s by the community on land given by the then Teignmouth Urban District Council, the building is now in need of modernisation and repair which could cost about £20,000.

It is understood to need rewiring and there have been squirrels in the roof.

County councillor David Cox said: ‘It is sad as the centre staff and volunteers do an amazing job.

‘It is very much needed by the community.

‘It has been a big success.

‘Local residents are understandably upset.’

Sarah Holmes, centre manager, had set up a fundraising page to try to keep the centre afloat.

In a week, she had raised more than £1,000 of her £10,000 target.

She said: ‘Over the years the centre has been used by thousands of people and is still well used today.

‘However, we are completely funded by grants from larger funding organisations and this last year it has become very difficult to find the money for the basic running of the building, including rent, electric, gas and insurance.’

She had appealed for help to meet these running costs, estimated to be £10,000 a year, not including salaries.

The trustees were approached for a comment.