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Outdoor Education Centres set to survive

September 16, 2019 7:54 AM

Wiltshire Council's 'cabinet' initially decided to close the Children's Outdoor Education sites at Oxenwood and Braeside. Following a public outcry it subsequently deferred the closures until at the latest January 2020 to allow for negotiations and possible transfer arrangements to be made.

An 'Outdoor Education Task Group' was set up, and this group was instrumental in getting a change of heart from the administration and an agreement to look at alternatives to outright closure and disposal of the sites.

Following a bidding process the initial transferees were Community First for Oxenwood and Wiltshire College for Braeside. But Wiltshire College then withdrew, so the site was offered to Classes Abroad instead.

Community First will continue to run Oxenwood as an adventure site for young people, whilst Classes Abroad will diversify Braeside to reflect their business model.

The financial and legal details of the transfer have been more complex than anyone imagined, but the deals are nearly done, and CF will have Oxenwood from October 1st, whilst Braeside will transfer as of December 1st.