A MUCH-loved outdoor education centre will continue to inspire thousands of youngsters in the future after the council confirmed it will pump an extra £500,000 worth of investment towards its on-going services.
Plas Dol-y-Moch was purchased by the council in 1966 and for the past 50 years it has been providing high quality residential and outdoor learning experiences exclusively for the young people of Coventry.
It is estimated that over 100,000 young people have attended a course at Plas Dol-y-Moch, which is based in the heart of Wales, since it opened.
And now many more will be able to visit after the council pledged to expand the centre and ensure its long-term future in its 50th anniversay year.
Coun David Kershaw CBE, Cabinet Member for Education, said that all political parties voted unanimously to back the proposal.
He said: “The centre holds a fond place in Coventry people’s hearts as many generations have either attended there or have had children or grandchildren go there and see first-hand the benefits and great experiences it provides,” said .
“We believe that every child in Coventry should have an opportunity to participate in a residential outdoor education course at the centre and being able to extend the centre so it can provide extra places for courses is great.
“For most of these young people, their course was one of the most positive and memorable experiences of their schooldays. For a significant number it was a life-changing experience.
“In addition to the undoubted social and educational benefits it provides, we need to increase our capacity at the centre in line with a projected increase in pupils attending primary schools too, so that Coventry schools who want to bring their pupils on courses at the centre can do so.”
In the last 12 months the centre provided 3,300 places on courses for young people from Coventry and their accompanying teachers who volunteer to support them throughout their course participating in the activities with them.
The recent investment will enable the number of places for young people at the centre on each course to increase from 50 to 60.
A joint community-led fundraising exercise, sourcing of some external grant money and PR activity are planned to raise an additional £250,000 towards the project.
Coun Kershaw added: “We now look forward to embarking on a large fundraising exercise and community engagement programme to raise awareness and support for the centre to generate the additional monies into the facility to enable our plans to be delivered.”
Anyone interested in finding out how they can support the fundraising activities should contact Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch by calling 01766 510200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The centre can also be followed on Facebook at Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch and Twitter @FOPDYM and are at www.friendsofplasdolymoch.co.uk.