15 Nov 22 by Mike Easton

Following the cessation of Cornwall Council’s provision of services at Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre earlier this year, new provider Cornwall Adventure Limited has confirmed the site will reopen in the new year.

This means the site, which is enjoyed by young people and the community from around Cornwall, will once again be available for school and community groups across the county and beyond.

With news that Cornwall Council was ending its outdoor education provision, the council instructed  Vickery Holman to run a process to find new operators to take over the much loved and needed site.

Mike Easton, Head of Hotels and Hospitality at Vickery Holman said:

“The news of the closure was met with great sadness from the many who have enjoyed the centre over many years, it being a well-used resource for activities for schools across the county, and some felt that it would be lost forever, however our instructions from Cornwall Council were very clear and this was to find the best placed operator to not only take over the site, but to grow the reputation and business for the longer term. 

During our marketing exercise we were approached by a number of existing operators and this culminated in a considerable number of proposals being put forward for review. From these the front runner was Cornwall Adventure who, through common ownership, already run an outdoor centre from Great Western Beach  in Newquay”

Chairman of Cornwall Council’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and local councillor for Porthpean, Cllr James Mustoe said:

“I am delighted to see Cornish company Cornwall Adventure take over management of Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre.

“Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre is an amazing asset, which has been enjoyed by generations of Cornish children, and should remain a key facility for Cornwall.

“Since my election to the area, and as Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee for children and families in 2021, I have been clear that this site has so much potential and I am pleased that the council has now concluded this process and put in place a company that will be able to realise this.

“ Cornwall Adventure’s values align with what our committee recommended to Cornwall Council as part of this process, that activities on site should remain affordable and accessible to Cornish school children.

“Having met with the operator I am looking forward seeing their exciting plans for this site for the future and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre is the very best it can be.”

Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families at Cornwall Council, said:

“I am hugely excited to see what Cornwall Adventure has planned for the future of Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre.

“The company is incredibly passionate about creating the best possible outdoor education experience for our young people and I am thrilled that local children and families will be able to continue enjoying such a vital community asset.”

Mark Turner, General Manager at Cornwall Adventure said:

‘We are very proud to take on the operation of Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre and to have the keys in hand!”

“We are excited about evolving and expanding the current offering to ensure schools and the wider community can access the very best outdoor education experience, here in this wonderful part of the county. 

“As a Cornish company, we are passionate about supporting local schools and offering the teachers and children an incredible experience they will never forget.”

“Plans are in place to get the venue up and operational as soon as possible and bookings for school groups will be available as before, along with the other facilities run from the site and the beach below.” 

Cornwall Council remains committed to helping ensure all young people in Cornwall have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of educational pursuits and experiences.

Two of the four former Cornwall Outdoors sites – in Carnyorth and Delaware – have been advertised as ‘community use only’ in the hope of attracting experienced and established outdoor education providers.

It was a legal requirement that the site in Porthpean must be used for outdoor education under the terms of the covenant.

Due to commercial and contractual sensitivities the Council cannot provide detailed updates on other sites at this time, but is hopeful that both day activities and residential stays will continue.

In respect of the fourth site – Pelistry in the Isles of Scilly – both camping and outdoor education will continue and the venue is taking bookings.