Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire council sells outdoor education centre

South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre: Photo by Simon Holloway
Image caption The South Cerney centre will be sold on leasehold terms as a going concern

An outdoor education centre in Gloucestershire will be sold and another will be leased, the county council has confirmed.

The Wilderness Centre in Mitcheldean, the Forest of Dean, and its associated sites will be closed and offered for sale.

South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre will be offered as a going concern through a leasehold arrangement.

The move is part of £45m saving plans by the Conservative-run council.

Local users of the South Cerney centre have previously said they will make a community bid to take on the lakeside site themselves.

'Reduce debt'

Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said in a report that, in determining who is to lease the site, due consideration would be given to existing users and the local community.

Previously, the council said facilities were costly to subsidise and maintain in a "difficult financial climate".

As the most economically viable site, the South Cerney centre will be offered to a new owner on a 125-year lease, meaning outdoor education could continue there and staff could potentially keep their jobs.

Mr Windsor-Clive said: "We cannot afford to continue to run these sites ourselves and the money from their sale will help us significantly reduce our debt, so we will look to achieve the best possible price."

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