Outdoor centre saved from closure after council U-turn

Reversal comes after Glasgow secured extra funding from the Scottish government.

Outdoor centre saved from closure after council U-turn
Blairvadach Outdoor Education centre

A council-run outdoor centre has been saved from closure after councillors reversed a decision to axe it.

Blairvadach Outdoor Education centre near Helensburgh appeared doomed following Glasgow City Council’s budget deal last month.

After staff were told on February 20 that the centre was closing, a petition to save it soon passed 10,000 signatures.

The activity centre has been a destination for thousands of Glasgow children since it opened more than 40 years ago.

The local authority has now announced Blairvadach will remain open after securing new funding from the Scottish Government.

Glasgow will receive an extra £10.6m under a budget deal worked out between SNP ministers and the Green Party.

Chris Cunningham, the council’s convener for education, said: “The Scottish Government’s budget deal with the Greens has provided additional funding for Glasgow.

“This gives us the space to focus on an alternative future model for Blairvadach and it therefore will not close.” 

But he said the “present arrangements” for the centre were “not sustainable” and “future options” had to be developed.

“Simply saving Blairvadach for another year is not enough in itself.

“It is showing its age and has suffered many years of underinvestment.

“The site requires significant investment running into millions of pounds to deliver a sustainable and viable future.   

“We now have the time and space to explore alternatives to its current arrangements.”

Blairvadach was opened in 1974 and offers week-long residential courses for Glasgow pupils in activities such as sailing, mountain biking, climbing and gorge walking.