'Future looks bright' for Staylittle Outdoor Centre claim politicians

Reporter:

Nick Knight

Powys politicians say that that a north Powys outdoor centre “should have a bright future”.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George and County Councillor Phyl Davies have said the Staylittle Outdoor Centre, near Llanidloes should have a bright future ahead.

The council’s only outdoor education centre has been managed by Freedom Leisure since July 2015. It was removed from the county-wide leisure management contract to generate annual savings of more than £130,000. The Council had confirmed that the Centre would close due to funding pressures after earlier attempts had been made to find an alternative operator.

There has been local concern that that the centre will close without any prospect of the centre offering educational and outdoor pursuit activities in the future. A petition organised by resident Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves has so far notched up more than 5,000 signatures.

Powys County Council has this week confirmed that it is seeking all avenues to ensure the centre has a viable and sustainable future.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George has said that he is pleased that Powys Council is seeking to keep the centre open and said they should find an experienced partner to work alongside.

Mr George said: “I have some great memories of staying at the Centre when I was a child, and it’s been great to visit the centre again in recent years. I would like to see the centre continue to offer an outdoor experience and facility.

”Clearly, it is a matter for Powys County Council, and I’m pleased that the local member, Councillor Phyl Davies, has been heavily involved in investigating all avenues to bring about a strong future for Staylittle. It would also seem sensible for the council to work with an experienced partner to run the centre.

“I’ve been working with a number of constituents who want the centre to have a prosperous future, and I’ve had very encouraging conversations with Cllr Davies. I determined to support the Centre and the Council in its aim to find a long term future for Staylittle.

County Councillor Phyl Davies who represents the Blaen Hafren ward, and who is the Powys Cabinet Member for Property said:

“The council will continue investigating all avenues to ensure the centre has a viable and sustainable future. Discussions are already taking place within different service areas and we will take those discussions further afield to give the centre the best possible future.

“Staylittle is an important asset in a wonderful location and we believe that with the right approach, imaginative thinking and a sound business model it could have a bright future. We will work with any organisation, private or public, to investigate possible options for its long-term future.

“We are determined to make the best possible use of the facility for the residents of Powys, but, whatever plans are considered, they have to be robust and demonstrate that the centre has a long and sustainable future.”

To sign Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves’ petition find Save Staylittle Outdoor Centre om www.change.org

Email:

nick.knight@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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