A REDDITCH learning centre which was threatened with the axe will continue to operate - but will have to find its own funding.

Staff at the Redi Centre, in South Street, Smallwood, have drawn up a five-year business plan outlining how it will generate its own income after Redditch Council decided it could no longer afford to fully finance it.

The council, which will continue to give the centre some minor financial support, gave the plan the thumbs-up at a meeting on Monday.

The popular centre provides opportunities for adults to gain qualifications and enhance skills.

Once it is completely independent, it will benefit from a range of financial incentives not available to services operated through the local authority.

Council Leader David Cartwright said: "This isn't just about saving money, it's giving the Redi Centre the chance to really develop and become a major training organisation within Redditch.

"This will make a real difference to the centre and people using it."

The centre has previously been the subject of a council shake-up twice in one year and staff were warned they could lose their jobs and services cut.

But last May, council officers decided to give users and staff the chance to come up with a business plan.

This new plan will go into operation this summer when a "shadow board" is formed and the transition from a council service to independent organisation begins. The process will take about 12 months.