Rory has met with representatives from Plas Y Brenin National Outdoor Centre, to discuss the viability and potential for setting up a satellite centre at Newton Rigg college that would aim to meet local demand for outdoor education within the North of the England. Widely recognised as a centre of excellence within the industry of outdoor pursuits, the Plas Y Brenin centre is currently the only place in the UK where certain advanced outdoor activities qualifications can be obtained.

The issue was initially brought to the attention of the Rory, by Matthew Ellis, Outdoor Learning Advisor for Cumbria County Council. Rory, who has previously stated developing the outdoor pursuits industry should be a priority for Cumbria and Cumbrians, recognised the opportunity and potential of Newton Rigg college to host a satellite centre for this area of the UK, and has worked with Wes Johnson, principal of Newton Rigg, to secure a site visit from representatives of the Plas Y Brenin centre.

Following the meeting at Newton Rigg with the Chief Executive of Plas Y Brenin, Martin Doyle, and the Director of Training, Martin Chester, Rory said: “Cumbria has a huge potential for outdoor activities in the future, and it is an industry sector which I am certain will¬† continue to form an ever greater part of the local economy. I worry though that we do not currently have the resources in place to ensure that it is Cumbrians benefiting the most from the opportunities our landscape offers. This is why a satellite centre would be a fantastic asset for the area. Newton Rigg’s marketing strategy over the past few years has been absolutely incredible, with application numbers up by over 150% in the last year alone. This is clearly an institution that is well capable of recruiting the necessary numbers to make such a course viable. Today’s meeting was really useful, and I hope Martin and his team were able to take away with them what a fantastic opportunity this would be for everyone involved. There is work to be done now putting together a sound and convincing proposal, and I am standing by to offer whatever further help and assistance I can.”

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