Charity set up to help secure funds for outdoor centre
Generations of schoolchildren have enjoyed away days and weeks there in the heart of the Highlands.
But financial woes had cast clouds over whether more would follow in their footsteps.
Now, thanks to a fresh fundraising bid in the Capital, pupils will continue to relive their parents’ experiences after the future of an outdoor centre was secured.
The council-owned Lagganlia Centre, at Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms National Park, was under threat after being hit by cash troubles.
A new charity, Friends of Lagganlia, will now raise much-needed funds and help promote the learning centre.
Fundraising efforts will ensure vulnerable children and disadvantaged youngsters can afford to take part in school trips to the Highlands.
A donation of £186,000 from the George Boyd Anderson Trust, named after the philanthropist who helped set up the centre in 1970, went towards improving it last year.
As well as school trips, its forest lodges also offer residential courses for adults.
The chairman of the new charity said the outdoor centre was worth protecting.
Stuart Armstrong said: “We are very lucky to have Lagganlia. It is a wonderful resource and many people in Edinburgh have fond memories of visiting the centre, on school trips, away days or even visiting as adults with their families.
“Friends of Lagganlia has been created because we want to help make sure that the centre is accessible to all and that more people get the chance to enjoy the activities available.”
Mr Armstrong admitted the charity had been set up at a welcome time, with fears building over the centre’s future.
He said: “We live in straitened times and funds are tight, that is why we hope that through this charity we can better serve the centre in terms of achieving funding though various avenues.
“It’s either that or lose forever what has been a fine resource over the past 40 years.”
City council chiefs said keeping the outdoor centre going would benefit future generations of schoolchildren.
Education convener, Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, said: “I am very proud that we are able to deliver such a great outdoor facility.
“The great educational benefits provided by the centre should be recognised and it is vital that we continue to support Lagganlia to ensure its success for generations to come.
“I also feel strongly that opportunities such as those on offer at Lagganlia are open to all, regardless of their economic circumstances. For that reason, I especially welcome the commitment by Friends of Lagganlia to help more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to visit the centre.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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