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Braeside poised for a bright future as keys are handed over to new owners

A popular outdoor education venue will continue to welcome young people for fun and challenges as new owners have now taken over the site.

Published 10 February 2020

Wiltshire Council has handed over the keys to the site to Classes Abroad, an outdoor education specialist based in Wiltshire.  

The site in Devizes will continue to offer schools and groups a range of activities including high level ropes, science, canoeing, abseiling and zip wire, as well as Able, Gifted and Talented enrichment sessions.

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, said: I am pleased to be officially handing over this popular site to a company that has a great track record and will continue to uphold the tradition of offering many opportunities for young people to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

This has been worth the negotiations to ensure Braeside provides the most sustainable long-term provision. I am pleased the current permanent employees will be transferring to the new owners, and Braeside will continue to offer a range of activities for schools and groups and provide an exciting offer for young people.

Rupert Tabley, Director of Classes Abroad, said: We are so proud to be the new owners of such an important community asset.  We'd like to thank everyone at Wiltshire Council who have been involved in the transfer process, their diligence and cooperation has ensured the transaction was completed in a timely, efficient manner.  We'd also like to thank all the staff at Braeside and acknowledge their patience, positivity and continuing commitment to Braeside in a period which must have been very stressful and uncertain for them all.  Looking to the future we are super excited about continuing the long tradition of offering quality outdoor education to Wiltshire schools, whilst maximising the sites potential to bring new tourism into Devizes -  we can't wait to get going!

The exchange of contracts with Classes Abroad follows the success of Community First taking over Oxenwood outdoor education centre in 2019, which offers a range of activities including abseiling, kayaking and bushcraft survival skills. The changes followed a successful business and land transfer from Wiltshire Council.

Braeside is open for bookings for activities. People interested can call 01380 722637 or visit the Braeside Education Centre website (opens new window).

A decision for Wiltshire Council to cease its provision of outdoor education at the two sites was made in March 2018. The successful agreements mean outdoor education can be sustained and potentially improved in the county at no cost to the council.

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