rory advocates greater outdoors education in penrith and the borders


Rory on Saturday attended the launch event at Penrith’s Go Outdoors centre for a new adventure learning organisation which will help young people complete their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

ACActive, in conjunction with Cumbria Youth Alliance, has set up an open award centre which aims to ensure that any young person who would like the opportunity to complete their DofE awards – bronze, silver and gold – can do so without the need to first join an affiliated school or organisation. It is the first time that this has been made possible in the north-west. ACActive will also provide young people with the support and guidance they need to successfully complete all aspects of the course.

Speaking at the launch event at Penrith’s Go Outdoors centre, Rory said: “Duke of Edinburgh awards are highly-valued by education establishments and employers alike, as well as offering a fantastic opportunity for young people in Cumbria to connect with our incredible outdoor landscape and our communities. It’s great to see an organisation like ACActive encouraging more young people to take an interest in these awards and providing the platform and support they need to see the course through. Given the energy and dynamism I find time and again throughout Cumbria, I have no doubt it will do very well.”

The launch event coincides with Rory Stewart’s recent efforts to investigate the possibility of setting up a  satellite centre for the National Mountain Centre in Newton Rigg. Currently, certain advanced outdoor activities qualifications are only obtainable in Plas Y Brenin, North Wales, and the local
MP – keen to strengthen Cumbria as a focal point for the outdoor activities industry – has already tabled a question in Parliament asking for Government support on the proposition.

Rory said: “The outdoor activities industry will continue to form an increasingly large proportion of the Cumbrian economy. It is absolutely essential that we are doing all we can to ensure Cumbria is as well equipped as possible to profit from an ever-growing interest in pastimes like mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing. There is no reason why Cumbria cannot be a world leader in this industry and I intend to continue fighting for that.”

For anyone keen to learn more about ACActive, details can be found on

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