Nova Scotia's Tatamagouche Centre will reopen this year, despite laying off most of its staff during a financial crisis last year.

The 61-year-old retreat centre offers professional and personal retreats and training to a wide range of groups.

Peter Hough, the acting chairman of the board, said it'll open mid-April and operate until November.

"It has struggled for a number of years in terms of having a positive bottom line," he told CBC's Information Morning Tuesday.

The centre depends on support, donations and program fees to remain open.

"Over the last number of years, it just was not managing to break even. It was going further and further into debt over the last number of years until finally it reached a crisis point last spring where people recognized that under the current model, it was just not going to be sustainable," Hough said.

Sustainable partnerships

That led to the layoffs and new board. The centre retained a skeleton staff to keep the basic functions running, Hough said. The centre also hired a bookkeeper after Christmas to help finish off the books for this year and help them moving forward.

Hough said the layoffs saved enough money to stave off the crisis, and they raised enough funds to stay open. The centre will mostly rent out the space to other groups, rather than run its own programs.

This year's opening will be the first step of looking at a longer vision for keeping it open.

"One of the key things that I think the transformation committee is taking is the need for building more substantial partnerships — and that can start all the way from the local community all the way out," said Hough.

He went to many personal reflection retreats at the centre in the 1990s. Now that he's retired, he thought he'd put his business management experience to use by helping the centre.

The centre has offered the space to help house refugees and says it is now working with the North Shore Refugee Sponsorship Group to rent a house to a family in the "near future."

The centre hopes to have a viable long-term vision later this year.