In February 2020, The Towers Outdoor Education Centre near Betws-y-Coed, North Wales was considered ‘at risk’ and closed by Wolverhampton Council whose school children used it for adventure breaks for almost 60 years.
The authority’s Asset Management Board decided to sell it off after it was determined that only 18 schools out of 102 used the facilities in 2019.
Councillor Michael Hardacre, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “I move the decision, knowing the history of Towers with a sad heart but one that says, ‘realism must prevail’. Express & Star
Enter c.co with development options for the centre
In May 2021, development plans were laid out that marked the beginning of the rescue operation for the beloved activity centre.
c.co presented ‘a pragmatic solution for transformational change’, with improvements and plans led by Wolverhampton Council, which included the development of a stand-alone self-catering unit. Local North Wales partnerships were encouraged to support the plans for the Towers, which were designed to preserve the core ethos and benefits of the centre’s offering.
Active Learning Group to the rescue!
Celebrations began at the end of 2021 when the experiential learning experts broke the news that they had secured the purchase of The Towers. MD of ALG said, ‘Having personally led many school groups on adventure and field trips to Snowdonia, I’m very excited that we have now secured The Towers as our third Active Learning Centre. What The Towers enables us to do is provide a complete outdoor education pathway for students that will allow them to build skills and character in different locations and learn through real, age-appropriate, experiences.’ Pat Milston ALG
This statement calmed fears that The Towers would become a hotel and confirmed that it would be refurbished for the use of thousands of school children once again.
Refurb is immensely proud to be part of the rescue operation
In January 2022 the Refurb team landed in Snowdonia and began the epic task of stripping out the incredible building.
Director, Matthew Boyd said, ‘Although we have experience in refurbishing and building centres for education this project feels particularly special. It came so close to never happening and to think this building might have been lost to the history books is nerve wracking! We’ve uncovered some incredible architecture and building methods, and the view from our windows while we work just can’t be equalled! We’re all very proud to be part of this important project that will go on to be the root of so many happy memories of kids in the future.’
Please enjoy the gallery of pictures we’ve taken so far on this prestigious journey: