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Friday, 31 October 2014

Lack of funding sees outdoor centre close

AN outdoor education centre has closed after 40 years.

Lanehead Outdoor Centre in Coniston has been forced to shut due to lack of funding.

The centre officially shut on December 2, after the final visitors from Acklam Grange School, Middlesbrough, left.

A centre spokeswoman described it as a hugely upsetting time for everyone who had worked with and for the centre over the years.

The spokeswoman added: “We would like to thank all the schools and groups that have used the centre over the last 40 years and particularly those who have been so supportive during the last 12 months.

“We wish all our visitors the very best for the future and hope that they are able to continue to offer outdoor residential visits to their students at an alternative venue for years to come.”

Lanehead Outdoor Education Centre was funded jointly by the boroughs of Middlesbrough, Stockton on Tees, Redcar and Cleveland, and Hartlepool.

Cumbria County councillor for Coniston, Claire Salisbury said: “The loss of any business, irrespective of where the funding has come from is a shame.

“In a small population area like we are, it’s a loss of local employment too. It makes you realise how fragile our economy can be.

“It is worrying and brings home the fragility of how we rely so heavily on outdoor and leisure activities. They also provided for local children.

“My daughter used to go climbing there once or twice a year with her Brownie pack.

“There is nothing to be done from our end, but it is a shame we have lost local facilities.”

Coniston and Crake Valley South Lakeland District Councillor Anne Hall, said: “I know how much these outdoor centres give to children from towns and cities who can’t get out into the countryside much.

“Working as a volunteer in the Tourist Information Centre, you see people who came when they were children returning with their families.

“It really opens their eyes to what the Lake District can offer.”

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