THE FUTURE of a troubled outdoor education centre has been secured after owners Worcestershire County Council appointed a new provider for the service.
Last week The Observer reported the county council had entered talks with a potential new provider for Llanrug Outdoor Education Centre after it was in danger of closing down when the authority’s cabinet asked private companies to bid to take over the site.
But on Friday (January 31), they confirmed the Arete Outdoor Centre, formed by two Llanrug directors Richard Link and Gareth Davies, were appointed as the new management team for the centre which is based on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.
Further talks are now underway between the county council and the company, also known as Llanrug Outdoor Education Company, with the aim of handing over the management of the centre from early April.
The centre has helped young people in Worcestershire for more than 30 years and offers them a unique learning experience away from home with activities including climbing, hill walking, canoeing, kayaking and more.
Mr Link has worked at all of the county’s outdoor education centres during the past 12 years and Mr Davies has more than ten years experience working in the outdoor industry.
“We are excited for the staff takeover so that the centre can continue to be at the forefront of real outdoor education,” Mr Davies said.
“It has become known for its excellence and we are happy that children and young people from Worcestershire will therefore continue to benefit from this important resource.”
When Llanrug’s future hung in the balance last year, schools in Malvern including The Chase, Dyson Perrins High School, Hanley Castle High School and Callow End Primary School were among a long list of others in the county who expressed their support to help save its future.
Hanley Castle headteacher Lindsey Cooke said she was delighted the centre’s was secure.
“It would have been very sad if youngsters from future generations would not have had the opportunity to go there,” she told the Observer.
“So many children from the school have benefited from their time at Llanrug and learned vital independent and teamwork skills.
“I would like to thank the local authority for listening to our concerns and Pershore High School headteacher Clive Corbett for leading such a fantastic campaign.”
Richard Jacobs, headteacher of The Chase, added: “We are delighted that Chase students can continue to enjoy quality outdoor opportunities at Llanrug in the future.”