Council members are set to approve an expansion to Plas Dol-y-Moch next week which will ensure a long–term commitment to the service.
With the city owned Plas Dol-y-Moch celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Council has approved a £500,000 capital investment to enable the centre to be expanded. This will enable the number of places for young people at the centre on each course to increase from 50 to 60.
Alongside this investment, 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.
The Council is working very closely with ‘The Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch’ and partners to deliver and support the fund raising activity.
Councillor David Kershaw CBE, Cabinet Member for Education, 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.
“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.
“It’s also worth emphasising that when the initial proposals to expand the centre were put forward, colleagues from both political parties were in unanimous agreement to back the proposal.
“We now look forward to embarking on a large fund-raising 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.”
Plas Dol-y-Moch was purchased by Coventry City Council in 1966 and for the past 50 years has been providing high quality residential and outdoor learning experiences exclusively for the young people of Coventry.
Thousands of young people have attended an outdoor education course at Plas Dol-y-Moch since it opened.
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 vast majority of the 120 schools in Coventry use the facilities of Plas Dol-y-Moch, recognising the high quality experience which the centre offers.
For people interested in how they can support the fund-raising activities, they can contact the Friends of Plas Dol-y-Moch direct either by calling 01766 510200 or e-mailing 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