Girlguiding announces sale of £4m-listed activity centre

18 Apr 2024 News

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Girlguiding UK

Girlguiding UK has announced the sale of one of its recently-closed activity centres, Blackland Farm, which is set to reopen under new management. 

The charity said the site would now be run by “an adventure operator led by a local group with well-established links to both Blackland Farm and the area”. 

While Girlguiding would not disclose how much it sold the centre in West Sussex for, a Savills listing shows a guide price of £4m.

Of the five activity centres that closed at the end of last year, four have been listed for sale a combined total of £13m. 

A charity has successfully registered with an aim is to buy another of the the sites from Girlguiding has received a £1.78m government grant.

Charity set up to buy centre gets government grant

Girlguiding decided to close five of its activity centres in Blackland Farm, Foxlease, Glenbrook, Waddow Hall and Ynys Gain on 31 December 2023 despite protests. 

A charity called Foxie’s Future has registered with the aim of acquiring the closed Foxlease centre in Lyndhurst, which is over 100 years old and is being advertised with a guide price of £4m.

The charity received £1.78m of funding from the Department for Levelling Up’s Community Ownership Fund in March.

On its website, the charity says it has raised more than £2.7m since August 2023 overall.

‘We are glad Blackland Farm will live on’

In a statement on its website, Girlguiding said: “The new adventure operator will run Blackland Farm as an outdoor activity centre, with camping, indoor accommodation and adventurous activities like canoeing, climbing and abseiling.

“It will be open to Girlguiding and Scout groups, schools, youth groups and more. 

“Girlguiding’s trustees used a set of principles for the sale, including continued use for adventure.

“We are very glad that the spirit and experience of adventure that has existed at Blackland Farm for many years will live on, and the centre will continue to benefit girls and Girlguiding.”

Campaign group Save Our Girlguiding Activity Centres celebrated the news about Blackland Farm’s reopening and said “hopefully we can bring you some news on the other centres very soon”.

According to Savills, Girlguiding’s Glenbrook centre has a guide price of £1.75m, while Waddow Hall is listed for £3.25m. 

Its Ynys Gain property is not yet on the market, Girlguiding said. 

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