Outdoor education specialists, Essex Outdoors, are celebrating after Essex County Council awarded the service a £2million capital investment for additional facilities and centre improvements.
The money will increase residential capacity at three of the four Essex Outdoors centres - new lodges will be built at Mersea and Danbury and tented accommodation provided at 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.
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing and Planning said: “The success of Essex Outdoors speaks for itself, with customer numbers increasing by 5 percent in the last three years. However, we know that, in order to continue to succeed in the Outdoor Education market, we must not only expand, but also improve on our offer. Doing so will allow us to serve a wider section of the outdoor activity market and generate more income to invest back in front line council services.”
Having won an award in 2016 for best children’s holiday club / camp, Essex Outdoors is highly regarded by parents and teachers alike and is very popular with children. The success of Essex Outdoors means peak season is at capacity. Increasing residential capacity and expanding the range of activities provided gives a fresh offering to existing customers and opens up availability to larger groups and new business, including out of season bookings.
The capital investment will also allow improvements in the bathroom facilities at Mersea and Danbury, will enable us to extend the kitchen at Danbury so more guests can be catered for, and replace the sewage plant at Mersea – mitigating any risk posed by flooding or system failure.
The money is available to Essex Outdoors immediately with work expected to start on improvements as soon as is practically possible. Essex Outdoors Harlow does not offer residential accommodation and therefore is not included in this programme of improvements. However, there are plans to invest in improvements at both the Harlow and Bradwell outdoor centres in the near future.