The money will increase residential capacity and facilities at three of the four Essex Outdoors centres - new lodges will be built at Mersea and Danbury and tented accommodation provided at Bradwell. Bradwell, Danbury and Mersea will also have funding to create extra activity stations and purchase new equipment, thus increasing the range of activities on offer to customers.

Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing and Planning said: “The success of Essex Outdoors speaks for itself, with customer numbers increasing in the last three years. However, in order to continue to succeed in the Outdoor Education market we must not only expand, but also improve on our offer building our customer base and repeat business opportunities. Additionally, by securing additional revenue from our Outdoor Centres we can invest money back into frontline council services helping close the funding gap and supporting the authority to become financially self-sustaining.”

The investment in Essex Outdoors sits alongside a move for the service into the portfolio of school support services offered by EES for Schools. This move will allow Essex Outdoors to develop its offer to specifically meet school curriculum needs and enhance learning experiences while giving EES for Schools customers’ access to a new educational product that has a direct impact on learners.

Richard Boughey, Director, EES for Schools said: “As a leading provider of school support services to over 4,500 schools nationally, EES for Schools is always looking for additional ways to provide support to schools. Outdoor education makes a valuable contribution towards curricular and non-curricular outcomes in schools and academies and recent evidence shows the potential for increased educational attainment and personal development. Essex Outdoors has a natural fit with our vision and we look forward to the exciting developments and improvements.”

See link to Essex outdoors Residential Acitivity Centres: