MP secures meeting with Education minister over plight of outdoor education centres
On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, local MP Tim Farron called for urgent government intervention to protect outdoor education centres in Cumbria from going out of business.
Speaking during an Urgent Question on support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tim said: "Outdoor education centres are a crucial part of our visitor economy.
"There are 60+ of them in Cumbria, employing hundreds of very talented people. Those jobs I'm afraid now are seriously at risk.
"Outdoor education centres provide huge benefits in terms of personal development, education, physical and mental health particularly valuable and essential at this time.
"They are as safe to reopen as schools - yet they face imminent ruin and closure.
"I wonder whether the minister would agree to meet with me and the heads of outdoor education centres so that we can take urgent action to save them?"
In response the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: "The honourable gentleman raises a very valuable point and having lived in his constituency for a couple of years I do know how important outdoor education centres are to our economy.
"He's also quite right to point to their benefits in terms of physical and mental health, often to young people who have been impacted by recent weeks.
"What I suggest is I will alert the ministers in the Department for Education to the specific concern that he's raised so that they can meet with him in order that the guidance from the Department from Education takes on board the point that he raises."