Monday, 15 June 2009

Runways End - Farnborough

We have been working for some time with Hampshire County Council and the Blackwater Valley Scouts Association in designing and seeking funding to build a state-of-the-art outdoor activity and adventure centre at Runways End, mainly aimed at young people aged 8 - 19. I started these talks 10 years ago, and opened discussions between the Council, County Council and the Scouts.

We have been successful in obtaining a £6.1M grant from the Department of Children, Schools and Families co-location fund. This is excellent news for the borough and a great credit to the strength of the partnership and the tenacity of all those involved in preparing the bid. We have had an enormous amount of support and investment by HCC and we must also pay great tribute to Peter Amies our Leisure Manager for all his hard work and tenacity in seeing this project through.

The centre will include a range of indoor and outdoor activities from archery, canoeing, and abseiling to rope courses, BMX-ing, caveing and camping. There will also be a drop-in youth centre,residental accommodation, offices for support services and a wide variety of environmental education. Now that the grant funding has been confirmed the centre is expected to open in summer 2011 and will extend across eight acres of woodland and land adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal. It will be an integral part of the wider centre of sporting excellence given its proximity to the preparation camp for Team GB in 2012 and the first-class garrison sports facilities.

We will ensure that you are kept informed of progress with this exciting project but it really is excellent news for the borough and importantly our young people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since Runways End's takeover of the adjacent plantation some years ago, the resident Roe deer (and her family) that has been living in this area for many years has been squeezed into a smaller patch of land and has reduced "escape routes" across the canal.

Presumably this 8 acres of land that will now be taken over will provide even more disruption for the local deer.

The Munk Jack deer are already very much rarer than they used to be.

What consideration has been given to the wildlife in the area?

Also, what consideration has been given to the amenity value of the land for dog walkers? The number of dog walkers has increased significantly recently following the new housing nearby.