Future plans for Upton Warren outdoor centre to be discussed

PLANS for the future of Upton Warren Outdoor Education Centre will be considered by Worcestershire County Council's cabinet today.

The authority as continued to support the activity centre, as well as other sites at Llanrug in North Wales and Malvern Hills, through recent challenging times.

Over the past three years the service has reviewed costs and boosted its marketing activity in a bid to reduce its subsidy from the council and move towards becoming self funding.

However, further budget restrictions have led Worcestershire County Council to explore other ways of sustaining the service.

Cabinet members will now be asked to consider the preferred provider for Llanrug Outdoor Education Service, Rock UK and seek recommendations to negotiate lease agreements and consult with staff and unions.

Recommendations are also being sought to continue negotiations for future providers at the Malvern Hills and Upton Warren sites, these to be reported to cabinet later in the year.

Councillor Jane Potter, cabinet Member with responsibility for education and skills, said: "These proposals will ensure that children and young people from schools and communities in Worcestershire are still able to access these sites for outdoor education. We recognise the important role that this sort of facility has in developing young people and preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead in their adult lives."

Cabinet will also be asked to agree to continue the independently managed Bursary fund of £100,000 a year, which allocates funds to pupils to assist with the cost of trips to the centres. The Bursary fund which is normally oversubscribed is recommended to continue until March 31 2014.

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