Stop the sale of Colne Valley’s Peter Brook Centre (the Cottage) in North Wales

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Decision makers at Colne Valley High School are attempting to sell the much loved Peter Brook Centre in North Wales, also known as the “school cottage.”

The PBC is a Field Studies Centre in North Wales held in trust for the school and young people of the broader Colne Valley.

Many of the current pupils and their parents are not even aware that Colne Valley High School has access to this valuable and unique resource due to shameful neglect over recent years.

Friends of the PBC are strongly against this disgraceful action and are fighting for it to be reinstated to its original purpose.

To sell this cottage is to directly and consciously deprive young people of the community of their heritage and wider educational experience.

It will deprive pupils from lower income families of a valuable low cost recreational asset.

Help us retain this legacy for current and future generations.

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Use of the PBC by CVHS pupils declined from 2001; this coupled with neglect and failure by the Trustees to maintain the facility led to the Centre being closed in 2015 on Health & Safety grounds.  Nothing has been done by the Trust since the closure to address the Health & Safety issues and they have recently stated it is their intention to sell. This denies even the few local youth groups who were aware of this incredible asset the ability to use it.

The Peter Brook Centre was purchased in 1974 through the fundraising efforts of pupils, staff and the people of the Colne Valley to commemorate a member of staff who was tragically killed in a climbing accident. It can accommodate 15 people and additional staff and is located close to Snowdonia National Park. It was extended and improved in 1983 by the addition of a classroom named after Ian Roberts, another member of staff who died climbing in the Dolomites.

For a regular comprehensive school in the state sector to have such a facility is rare and something in which to take pride.

For more than 30 years trips ran regularly allowing all pupils the opportunity to visit. There were subject-specific field trips and it was also used by Duke of Edinburgh award participants. The cooperation and goodwill of staff enabled thousands of Colne Valley pupils to experience a residential visit, and because the Centre is owned in Trust on behalf of the school and young people of the Colne Valley, costs are minimal allowing EVERYONE the opportunity to benefit, not just those from higher-income families.

There are pockets of significant social deprivation in the Colne Valley area with some postcodes being amongst the 10% most deprived in the whole of England and Wales based on government data. People here have limited disposable income to pay for the kind of residential trip run by commercial providers that many schools use. Accommodation costs for a directly owned centre can be as low as £15 per learner per day making this a much more affordable option for many families.

The PBC once provided the opportunity for affordable school trips – and could do so again. To sell this cottage is to directly and consciously deprive pupils from lower income families of a valuable part of their education. It further directly contradicts the spirit in which the PBC was founded.

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Friends of the Peter Brook Centre is an organisation of enthusiastic volunteers with a range of skills, talents and experience who wish to assist CVHS in retaining, reinstating and maintaining this asset; bring the Centre back into full use; enhance and continue the facilities for the education and recreation of the people of the Colne Valley. For further information on the aims and activity of this group please see The Friends of the Peter Brook Centre on Facebook.

Please help us ensure that future generations are not denied their legacy.  Please sign our petition and support our call for change:

  • Stop the sale of Colne Valley’s Peter Brook Centre in North Wales
  • Demand the current Trustees of the Peter Brook Centre engage in bringing the centre back into use
  • Insist that additional Trustees be appointed to ensure a positive and sustainable future for the legacy they have been entrusted

 

 



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Friends of the Peter Brook Centre needs your help with “Jennifer Ryan: Stop the sale of Colne Valley’s Peter Brook Centre (the Cottage) in North Wales”. Join Friends of the Peter Brook Centre and 1,799 supporters today.