A centre which has helped some of Oxford’s most vulnerable homeless people for almost 20 years will close in four weeks’ time.

The Gap project, in Park End Street, will stop operating on September 30 after its funding from NHS Oxfordshire and Oxford City and Oxfordshire County councils was cut.

A homeless rights campaigner said the move would leave some of the city’s homeless to face a “very bleak winter”.

But the authorities said financial pressures had forced them to withdraw funding and insisted there would still be services for homeless people.

Pete Bonney, who used to be homeless himself, is a longstanding fundraiser and supporter of the centre.

Mr Bonney, of Wood Farm, said: “This is very bad news for homeless people in Oxford.

“A lot of people are devastated about what the future holds and it feels like people are turning their backs on them. These guys face a very bleak winter.”

The project, which has been operating since 1999 and was funded by Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and NHS Oxfordshire, provides help for homeless and vulnerable people aged over 16.

A city council review of the provision for the homeless concluded its services were no longer required.

The authority believes other centres will be able to step in, including the new Crisis Skylight centre at the Old Fire Station, in George Street, due to open next summer.

But Mr Bonney added: “No one knows what the future will hold, and where will these people go in the meantime. They will be on the streets.”

The closure follows the withdrawal of several grants, including £95,938 from the city council.

It gives a total of £290,000 a year to four homeless day centres, O’Hanlon House, in Luther Street, Steppin’ Stone, in Magdalen Road, the Gatehouse, in St Michael’s Street, and the Gap.

Meanwhile, the city council plans to review funding for the Gatehouse in March.

Spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We will not be extending the Gap’s funding beyond its current contract and the service will be decommissioned from September 30.”

County council spokesman Louise Mendonca said: “Clearly, in times of financial pressure, areas have to be identified where money can be saved.”

She said the county agreed with the city council and primary care trust and added: “As the county council is not statutorily responsible for funding the Gap, and some of the services it provides have been deemed to be less effective than others of its kind in Oxford, we would find it difficult to justify future spending there totaxpayers.”

Ian Bottomley, service development manager at NHS Oxfordshire, said: “This was a difficult decision to make but we believe it’s the best way forward after listening to people using the services and partner organisations.

“There are still going to be services available to homeless people across the city.”