Cumbria

Brathay Trust takes over outdoor centres from Wigan Council

A charitable trust is to take over the running of two Lake District outdoor education centres.

Low Bank Ground, on the shore of Coniston Water, and Hinning House in the Duddon Valley, have been owned by Wigan Council for about 30 years.

They cost £200,000 a year to run and the council, which needs to make savings of £66m by 2015, had been considering closing or selling them.

Ambleside-based Brathay Trust will now run them for the next seven years.

The trust was founded in 1946 and aims to improve the lives and development of young people.

'New opportunity'

Godfrey Owen, chief executive of the trust, said the move was good news for the local community.

"Like all outdoor centres in the Lake District there are core staff, contractors and a whole army of freelance associates who come and support all the centres," he said.

"The most important thing is that Wigan youngsters continue to come to the Lake District.

"This is a time of real change for all charities, certainly for those working with young people.

"It is a great new opportunity for us to do something different."

Wigan Council's executive director of people, Nick Hudson, said: "The council recognises how valuable these centres are and as a result we have looked at every option for their future."

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