Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

School in Woods Is Facing Axe ( Again

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

School in Woods Is Facing Axe ( Again

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hayley Beattie

A camp which has given thousands of children a taste of the great outdoors faces closure.

Gateshead council, owner of Dukeshouse Wood, Hexham, has decided the centre is surplus to requirements.

It is the second time in five years that the site has been at risk.

In 2001 the council said it could not continue subsidising the centre but two years later it seemed the future of the site, which can sleep up to 150 children, had been secured.

Charity The Outdoor Trust, of Belford, Northumberland, signed a 25 year lease ( but it has since gone into liquidation and responsibility has returned to the council.

It considered seeking another organisation to run it but felt this would not be viable, because it needs up to pounds 1m spent on it to bring it up to standard.

A council spokesman said: "We considered inviting offers to run the site as an outdoor activity centre but, given the net operating costs, it was questionable if it could be financially viable. …

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