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Bradford Council to modernise Dales learning centres
10:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in News
Two council-owned outdoor learning centres are being modernised as part of a major investment plan to attract more visitors.
They offer adventurous activities such as caving, rock climbing and abseiling, as well as lessons on the natural environment.
But the centres have been failing to attract visitors, with occupancy being as low as 51 per cent at Buckden House in 2011-2012.
The Bradford Schools Forum, which makes recommendations on how the district’s school grant should be spent, is funding a package of improvements in a bid to increase the numbers of visitors so the centres can fund themselves without subsidies.
A council report has now revealed how this money will be spent.
In December, a team of headteachers, council officers and a quantity surveyor visited Buckden House and Ingleborough Hall to decide what work needed carrying out.
According to the report, the team decided it was necessary to ‘extend washing and toileting facilities for visitors making them acceptable for use in the 21st century’.
The centres would also need upgraded staff accommodation, individual showers and better ICT facilities, the report said.
The work will cost £400,000 at Ingleborough Hall and £200,000 at Buckden House.
A marketing manager has also been appointed to generate new business and the centres are considering putting on open days.
An update on the plan was due to go before Bradford Council’s overview and scrutiny committee for children’s services this week.