The Executive are asked to:
i) Approve Phase 1 investment up to £4.2m.
ii) Agree for the service return to the Executive committee in 2027/28 to seek approval for further investment in Phase 2 of the development.
Considered – A report of the Corporate Director – Children & Young People’s Service providing a performance update on the Outdoor Learning Service.
Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the report which detailed the operation of the two outdoor learning centres, Bewerley Park and East Barnby, which provided residential and day-based activities as well as staff training. She confirmed there was no longer a statutory duty on local authorities to provide an outdoor learning service but acknowledged the benefits it brought. She drew specific attention to the proposed two-stage approach of investment.
Members were pleased to note the work of officers to develop a sustainable plan for the future, given how precarious the Service had been and the poor condition of the two centres. It was noted the investment would ensure both sites were fit for purpose moving forward and provide enhanced opportunities for children to experience outdoor education in the county, and Members recognised what a good news story that was for the County.
Councillor Gareth Dadd welcomed the sustainability of the business model but cautioned that stage two would only proceed if phase one proved successful.
Resolved – That:
i) Phase 1 investment up to £4.2m be approved.
ii) The service return to the Executive in 2027/28 to seek approval for further investment in Phase 2 of the development.