Parliamentarians call for Kilbowie Outdoor Centre axe to be reconsidered

Kilbowie Outdoor Centre faces closure in 2021
Kilbowie Outdoor Centre faces closure in 2021

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s parliamentarians have written to North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Des Murray asking for the decision to close Kilbowie Outdoor Centre be reconsidered.

The council-owned centre near Oban, which has been a popular feature of North Lanarkshire education since 1991, will shut in 2021.

This follows a vote by the Policy and Strategy Committee last month to axe the facility that provides a residential outdoor learning experience for all North Lanarkshire P7 classes.

Following the appearance of a proposal to close the centre in council papers, local support was abundant on social media, with many parents and former pupils noting the positive impact of the centre.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “I am beyond disappointed that the administration has voted to close Kilbowie and the council should reconsider this matter urgently taking parents’ opinions into consideration.

“Former pupils of all ages have very fond memories of the centre and we should be making sure that every child gets a positive experience of outdoor education.”

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP Stuart McDonald added: “The council’s decision has clearly been rushed – we have asked them to consult with parents. There also does not seem to have been much in the way of engagement with staff at the centre either.

“On top of that, we don’t have any indication as to how the council intends to match the excellent experience offered by Kilbowie, that is accessible to every child in North Lanarkshire, under a new system. They must reconsider this decision.”

Council leader Jim Logue previously announced the administration plans to bring forward proposals for the expansion of outdoor education next month.