Date posted 08 Jul 2021

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Tommy Judge opened the brand new Hive Woodland Camping Pods at Ghyll Head Outdoor Education and Activity Centre yesterday, Tuesday 6th July, just one of the brand new features installed as part of a £1.5 million investment project.

Ghyll Head is owned by Manchester City Council and is located in Cumbria on the edge of Lake Windermere. The 17-acre site has been offering residential outdoor education predominantly to Manchester schools since 1967.    

The Council approved a business case in November 2019 to fund the scheme from the capital receipts generated from the sale of Buglawton Hall.   

Social enterprise GLL will manage the centre on behalf of the Council and have procured and managed the works under an agency agreement . GLL also manage 22 community and elite leisure facilities in Manchester on behalf of Manchester City Council under the MCRactive brand.

The significant refurbishment works carried out have brought the much loved facility up to a modern standard and greatly enhanced the residential offer available to schools and community groups. The project included: 

  • Increasing the bed space in the Main House from 52 to 60
  • The visiting staff accommodation and other rooms now include en-suite facilities.
  • Specially converted ground floor room to support children and families with special needs.
  • All rooms have been fully redecorated, with new floors, new beds, bedding and facilities for storage.
  • New LED lighting, radiators, electrical and phone charging points.
  • Installation of WIFI.
  • Improvements to catering equipment and layout to enable more capacity and the ability to offer more choices.
  • Improvements to lounge areas, providing a higher quality look and feel and a more flexible use of space.
  • Redecoration of the existing Bungalow which provides accessible accommodation for up to 16.
  • The addition of new accommodation spaces including The Hive, which can accommodate up to 40 people. 

Works will continue over the summer to enhance the provision available to the Pods which will allow enable private bookings in addition to schools and youth groups. 

  • New washroom and cooking facilities and log cabin community room which will be completed in September this year.
  • New bunk house sleeping accommodation located next to the bungalow which will sleep and additional 14 people and which will support larger or multiple groups using the bungalow.

Over 25 schools and community groups have already booked in from this month until the end of the year. The centre is being promoted to all Manchester Schools & Youth organisations and recently held camps in May Half Term for local SEND children and their families.

Gareth Kirk, Regional Director for GLL said:

“We’re delighted to be managing such a unique facility, extending our relationship with Manchester. It’s been a challenging 16 months for everybody across the city so we’re looking forward to welcoming schools and groups safely to Ghyll Head and being able to contribute to young people’s health and wellbeing through this superb facility in the beautiful backdrop of the Lakes.”

Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City
Council, said:

"Ghyll Head has been serving generations of Manchester school children since 1967, growing their confidence and skills, and giving them the chance to learn and  experience the great outdoors in its breath-taking lakeside setting.  The upgrades we've been able to make to it aren't just about investing in a building, it's a direct investment in improving the lives of all our young people who will be able to visit it now for decades to come."

View or Return to Ghyll Head Website