Ardwhallan Educational Centre, one of the most popular outdoor activity centres on the island, is to close its doors at the end of the month.
The centre is based on and around West Baldwin Reservoir, better known as Injerbreck. It has been popular with youth groups and schools, as well as young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
A gov spokesman said the DESC ‘is taking the opportunity to review all services provided to schools at Ardwhallan following the recent resignation of a member of staff’.
He added: ‘The situation means the charity owned centre is temporarily unable to offer normal outdoor sessions, however, the delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme will continue to be managed and developed further in the future.
‘Ardwhallan will remain temporarily shut while the review takes place and a further announcement will be made in due course.’
A post on the Ardwhallan Outdoor Education Centre’s Facebook page on Tuesday said the centre ‘has been going through some difficult changes in the past two years, this is to do with how the Department is connected to the Charity and the legal risks this brings’.
The statement, from centre boss Paul Melling, added: ‘Due to this a decision has been made the Centre and its activities will cease trading on April 28 2021, at this time the Ardwhallan and its equipment will be mothballed so that the legal administration details can be sorted out as well as how the Centre is to run in the future. There has been no time frame for this to take place, it may take some time, therefore it is with a sad heart that I have to cancel all booking there after April 28.
‘On a personal note I would like to let you know, I have put my resignation forward for personal reasons and it has been accepted, I am still going to be involved in Outdoor Education so please keep an eye out for my new company adventureology. As I do still believe the outdoors has positive change in people’s lives. Can I say a big thanks for all the staff and volunteers that have helped over the years make the Centre what it was, I would also like to thank you all for the support and trust you have given with your young people that have had the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors with us.’