Bewerley Park set for new 84-bed block as part of £4.2m upgrade
Nov 21, 2023
Bewerley Park's current accommodation blocks.

Bewerley Park, near Pateley Bridge, looks set to get a new 84-bed accommodation block as part of a £4.2 million upgrade.

North Yorkshire Council has outlined plans to modernise its two outdoor education centres at Bewerley Park and East Barnby.

The residential sites popular with schools offer a range of outdoor activities, such as canoeing, paddle-boarding and caving.

Phase one of the plans proposes to provide a new 84-bed accommodation block at Bewerley Park and to make improvements to East Barnby accommodation blocks and the dining room.

Bewerley Park, which recently faced the possibility of closure, currently has 173 beds for students and teachers.

Councillors will be asked to approve the phase one plans at an executive meeting on Tuesday.

If given the go-ahead, detailed designs will be developed, followed by a two-stage tender process to carry out the work.

Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, executive member for education, learning and skills, said:

“This is an exciting project. For decades both centres have proven very popular, being visited by generations of families. Thousands of children and young people visit the centres each year and leave with positive, happy memories.

“It’s vital that our centres continue to deliver wonderful experiences in a more modern environment.”

East Barnby in North York Moors National Park is also part of the scheme. The plans outline improvements to its accommodation blocks and the dining room.

Work for phase one is expected to cost up to £4.2 million and a decision on phase two is expected in 2027-2028.

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The council’s assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, added:

“If given the go-ahead, we expect phase one to be completed by 2025. The new buildings and improvements won’t affect our visitors – in fact, we look forward to welcoming more visitors as the works take place.”

The plans come after North Yorkshire Council found a 21% price increase for trips to Bewerley Park proved “prohibitive” to some local schools.

The site, which opened in 1940, hiked its fees and charges to reflect inflation and rising costs.

However, Teresa Thorp, head of outdoor learning services at the council, said in a report published in September:

“There have been a few schools who have found the increase in fees and charges for 2023-24 prohibitive, demonstrating that last year’s fees and charges increase has adversely affected the take up of services in some cases.”

Ms Thorp added the council had to compete with other outdoor learning centres, such as Low Mill, Robin Wood and Carlton Lodge.


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