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Colomendy adventure centre set for £10m revamp

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An adventure centre in North Wales owned by Liverpool City Council has recently seen a £1m investment in its facilities prior to its being handed over to a new operator.

Colomendy Outdoor Pursuits Centre, in Loggerheads, near Mold, now features a new zip wire, climbing towers with scramble nets, high and low rope adventure activities, abseiling, an underground cave complex and a lake for water-based activities.

The work was funded by the council, which provided £280,000 and the lottery’s New Opportunities Fund, which gave a grant of £780,000.

The appointment of residential and educational school trip and outdoor pursuits organiser Kingswood to manage the site – which had been losing £1m a year prior to the revamp – is expected to be rubber-stamped by the council’s select committee next week.

Once officially appointed, the company will begin a £10m investment programme to refurbish and upgrade the accommodation and educational facilities on site – some of which dates back to the 1950s when the council bought the former World War Two children’s camp, and was largely responsible for a fall in visitors to the centre in recent years.

Planning permission has already been secured for the work.

Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services, said: "Ask any child who has been to Colomendy what they thought of the place and they'd tell you it was the experience of a lifetime.

"However, the site had seen better days and schools have been voting with their feet and starting to use other more outdoor centres. It has been badly in need of major investment to make it more attractive to the modern needs of today's youngsters.

Stuart Smith, interim executive director for children's services, added: "Our aim is to transform Colomendy into one of Europe's premier outdoor activity centres.

"Modern residential and adventure facilities befitting the 21st Century will provide our children with an opportunity to develop as self-aware, confident, healthy youngsters in a safe and secure environment."

The property, which will be primarily available for Liverpool school groups but also open to other community groups, will increase in residential capacity from around 500 to more than 600 after the revamp.

Paul Gilbert, managing director of Kingswood, said: "We have for several months been working alongside Liverpool City Council in laying the foundations for Colomendy to become a state-of-the-art outdoor education centre, with unrivalled levels of quality and safety, for young people from Liverpool and throughout the UK." Details: www.liverpool.gov.uk or www.kingswood.co.uk

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An adventure centre in North Wales owned by Liverpool City Council has recently seen a £1m investment in its facilities prior to its being handed over to a new operator.
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