Multi-million pound scheme set to upgrade outdoor education centres

A proposed £4.2m investment to redevelop and modernise North Yorkshire Council’s two outdoor education centres to enhance their appeal for future generations of school children is to be considered next week.

A range of improvements to breathe new life into Bewerley Park in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and East Barnby in the North York Moors National Park are to come under the spotlight.

At a meeting of the council’s executive on Tuesday next week (November 28), members will be asked to approve the first phase of investment at the flagship activity centres.

Phase one proposes to provide a new accommodation block at Bewerley Park with 84 beds and to make improvements to East Barnby accommodation blocks and the dining room.

If given the go-ahead, detailed designs for the buildings’ improvements will need to be developed, followed by a two-stage tender process.

Work for phase one is estimated to cost up to £4.2m. A separate decision on phase two is expected in 2027-2028.

Executive member for education, learning and skills, Councillor Annabel Wilkinson, said: “This is an exciting project.

“For decades both centres have proven very popular, being visited by generations of families. Thousands of children and young people visit the centres each year and leave with positive, happy memories.

“It’s vital our centres continue to deliver wonderful experiences in a more modern environment.”

Assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, added: “If given the go-ahead, we expect phase one to be completed by 2025.

“The new buildings and improvements won’t affect our visitors – in fact, we look forward to welcoming more visitors as the works take place.

“Our staff are passionate about what they do and look forward to enhancing everything they offer.”