A CENTRE which supports some 9,000 Chinese people across the county is set to close after 26 years.

Operators at the Oxfordshire Chinese Community and Advice Centre at Princes Street, East Oxford, said city and county council cuts are to blame for the looming closure.

The organisation which provides language and day care services said that if it cannot find enough funds it will have no choice but to shut its doors on July 31 when the money runs out.

Administrator and centre spokesperson Boris Wong called it a ‘sad day’ for the centre and for the Chinese community in Oxford.

The 29-year old from Headington said: “There is more demand for the services and more and more people from China. We help them to integrate and also offer practical things like speaking English.

“It is very sad of course and when we broke the news to the Chinese community they said ‘please don’t close, please keep it open.’ They are very upset by it.

“There is no alternative for them here, some of them they are having to travel to London because now we don’t have the resources.

“We are appealing for help to keep the centre going. So far we have raised just £300.”

Oxford City Council stopped funding the advice centre in 2011, but have since provided some cash for initiatives run by the centre.

The county council followed suit last April by slashing £24,676 from its budget.

A further £18,800 for daytime support funding will also be taken away from its budget in August this year.

Mr Wong said that the running costs of keeping the centre going each year added up to about £80,000.

He said: “There are a lot of people from mainland China here and the number is growing. There are some elderly people that really need the English help.

“They need the help from the centre to carry out day-to-day things.

“There are so many people that need the help but we just don’t have enough money.”

Of the 9,000 Oxfordshire residents that have come from China, about 5,600 are based in the city.

To ensure the centre can continue to operate beyond July 31, he said that they need to raise at least £60,000.

In response to the news, Oxfordshire County Council said that an alternative service – the Oxfordshire Specialist Advice Service - had been set up to provide translation services via phone and e-mail.

Spokesperson Paul Smith said: “The service helps with queries around benefits, money advice, budgeting, and other welfare issues and will link you into services that can provide further support.”

He added that the centre would be eligible to apply for transitional funding for the £18,800 for its daytime support after the money from the county council stops in August.

A city council spokesman said: “Between 2012/13 and 2014/15, Oxford City Council provided the Chinese Community and Advice Centre with £6,020 in grants for a variety of initiatives, including to promote healthy living and room hire for New Year celebrations.

"We have not received any grant applications from the group since then. Every year the City Council provides £1.4m of funding to community and voluntary groups across Oxford.”