Cotswold author Jilly Cooper backs Lake 12 Partnership bid

Leading author and Cotswold personality Jilly Cooper has added her voice to the growing list of celebrities backing the Lake 12 Partnership bid to keep the South Cerney lake open to the public.

Ever since the announcement by Gloucestershire County Council that they were withdrawing funding and seeking to sell off the site, the Lake 12 Partnership, a group made up of local interest groups, councils, clubs and concerned locals, has been lobbying to maintain open access and the provision of outdoor education.

Now Jilly Cooper has put pen to paper to back the campaign.

“I support your campaign to save Lake 12 as a place of beauty and an education centre for children and adults.”

Many well known local names have already given their backing to the Lake 12 Partnership, including Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, former Tomorrow’s World hosting Judith Hann and actress and property expert Fiona Fullerton.

There has also been support from the Department for Education and local brewery boss James Arkell for the difference that the South Cerney Lake, currently run as the South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre and celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, makes to the lives of children and adults of all backgrounds and abilities, including the most vunerable in society.

Tender documents regarding the sale of a 125 year lease and the regard for continued outdoor education, as opposed to “outdoor activity”, are expected soon.

 

 

 

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More big names voice their support for community group lake bid

More famous Cotswolds names have joined the campaign to save outdoor education at South Cerney’s Lake 12, near Cirencester.

South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre, one of the Cotswolds Water Park’s best known and best loved venues, is to be sold off by Gloucestershire County Council after they decided to withdraw funding this year.

Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who lives in the Cotswolds, has already voiced her concern about what might happen to the South Cerney site and has backed the Lake 12 Partnership.

Now more Cotswolds celebrities have added their backing to the efforts of the Lake 12 Partnership, a charity formed to take over and run the site for local and educational benefit. The group is aiming to raise £250,000.

Former Tomorrow’s World and fellow Cotswold resident Judith Hann said: “I would like to add my support to the campaign to prevent the closure of the South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre.

“Children need the chance to get together for fun and fitness.”

In addition, actress turned property developer Fiona Fullerton, who also lives nearby, commented: “South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre is a necessary facility so Lake 12 Partnership most definitely has my support to prevent its closure.”

In addition, James Arkell, a member of the brewing dynasty Arkell’s, who are based just across the county border in Wiltshire, where many of the South Cerney site’s user groups of all ages, abilities and backgrounds come from, said: “All community groups for children show how a civilised country supports its young. Volunteers are the real backbone of many of these groups.

Each one, whether in a less advantaged community centre in Swindon or an Outdoor Education centre in South Cerney, deserves all our support. Good Luck.”

More details on the tender documents from Gloucestershire County Council are expected to be available soon. The SCOEC site is currently due to close at the end of December.

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Sharron Davies supports bid to save outdoor education in Cotswolds

Olympic swimming star Sharron Davies is helping to launch the next phase of the battle to keep open a much loved public amenity at the Cotswold Water Park.

Sharron Davies, supporting the Lake 12 bid to save outdoor education in the Cotswolds

Sharron is offering her support to the launch of the newly formed charity the Lake 12 Partnership, which is co-ordinating a major fundraising push to buy and secure what she calls ‘a great and unique resource’.

The swimming star has sent a message of support to help save South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre, near Cirencester, as the move to raise funds and the Lake 12 Partnership profile moves forward ahead of the official tendering process.

Gloucestershire County Council withdrew its funding from the South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre lake – which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – and four other outdoor education sites.

They were designated for closure and to be sold to the highest bidder on the open market. However, community members formed the Lake 12 Partnership to campaign to save the South Cerney centre and the county council agreed to sell it on a 125 year lease and maintain outdoor activities.

The partnership is now creating a charity and initial costings suggest the need to raise an initial £250,000.

Sharron said: “I was saddened to hear about the possible closure and sale of the centre. This is a great and unique resource for health and fitness for local kids and community groups of all kinds, as well as helping many disadvantaged groups.

Now the the community has organised itself into the Lake 12 Partnership and is fighting to save this valuable asset for all to use, I wholeheartedly support the ongoing efforts.”

The Department for Education has also added its weight to the campaign. In a letter, it said: “We would like to wish the Lake 12 Partnership success with its proposals as we consider that learning outside the classroom is an important element of the national curriculum.”

The group is supported by a large number of community groups that use Lake 12, parish councils, schools colleges and concerned individuals.

Members of the Thameswey Canoe Club, Cirencester Dolphin Sub-Aqua Club, the Navy Training Corps, the Disabled Sailing Association and Gloucestershire Scouts are among those putting together a business plan to co-ordinate a fighting fund.

The county council has not yet revealed a potential cost or details of the tender process.

The centre is taking bookings until December 31, after the original August cut-off date was moved forward so as to maintain the facility as a going concern before any handover deal.

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Thanks to Preston Parish Council

Just a quick note to say thank you to Preston Parish Council for their support and help, part of whose email is reproduced here. When we know what the fundraiser is, it will be here on the website.

“We held a Parish Council meeting last Thursday when your letter and request for a grant donation was discussed. Councillors are in favour of supporting your bid to retain the facility as a community asset and to enable the continued use by local people as well as other organisations. I believe that initially you are trying to raise money to cover the bid costs, administration costs, publicity and general out of pocket expenses. We are hoping to highlight this issue in our local newsletter and also to arrange a fundraiser with the proceeds going to the Lake 12 Partnership.”

While it is true we need funding for initial expenses, in order to launch the bid itself we are likely to need much larger sums. More details of that in the near future.

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Lake 12 Partnership on Twitter

The Lake 12 Partnership is tweeting @Lake12Cotswolds

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Olympic Star Sharron Davies Gives Support To Fundraising Campaign To Save Outdoor Education Site

Olympic Swimming legend Sharron Davies and the Department for Education have added their words of support to the campaign to save outdoor education at South Cerney, near Cirencester.

And the bid by members of the local community, who came together as the Lake 12 Partnership to take over the running of South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre, is stepping up a gear with the creation of a charity to spearhead a major fundraising push.

The celebrity support and establishment of a new charity comes after the announcement earlier this year that Gloucestershire County Council wants to remove its funding from the much-loved community facility, known as SCOEC, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and look to market the site.

Four other outdoor education sites in Gloucestershire, including the Wilderness Centre near Lydney, have already been designated for closure and to sale to the highest bidder on the open market. But after a campaign to save outdoor education at South Cerney’s Lake 12 gathered pace, an announcement was made to market the SCOEC site as a going concern.

Olympic swimmer and local resident, Sharron Davies MBE, has lent her weigth to the fight to save the SCOEC site.

“I was saddened to hear about the possible closure and sale of the local Outdoor Education Centre at Water Park Lake 12,” she said. “This is a great and unique resource for health and fitness for local kids and community groups of all kinds, as well as helping many disadvantaged groups.

“So now that the community have organised themselves into the ‘Lake 12 Partnership’ and are fighting to save this valuable asset for all to use, I wholeheartedly support their ongoing efforts.”

And in a letter from the Department for Education, it said: “We would like to wish the Lake 12 Partnership success with their proposals as we consider that learning outside the classroom is an important element of national curriculum.”

The Lake 12 Partnership is being supported by a large number of community groups, users of the Lake 12 facilities, parish councils, schools and colleges and concerned individuals. A great deal of work from members of Thameswey Canoe Club, the Cirencester Dolphin Sub-Aqua Club, the Navy Training Corps, Disabled Sailing Association and Gloucestershire Scouts among others to put together a business plan and set up the Lake 12 charity to co-ordinate the fund raising effort.

South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre is now taking bookings again until December 31st, after the original cut-off date of August was moved forward in order to maintain the facility as a going concern, ahead of any handover deal.

While there are no details yet of the tender process or what the costs could be as yet from Gloucestershire County Council, the Lake 12 Partnership is now looking for support to build a fighting fund to keep Lake 12 as a community facility.

Assisting the campaign is fundraising expert Chris Roberts, who was awarded an MBE for her services to fundraising.

For further information, contact info@lake12.co.uk or chris@cotswoldwireless.co.uk.

The postal contact address is Lake 12 Partnership, c/o Clanfield House, Market Square, Bampton, Oxfordshire, OX18 2JJ.

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Contact Us on info@lake12.co.uk

This is the site for the Lake 12 Partnership, a community group that has come together to save outdoor education at the South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre at Lake 12, South Cerney, near Cirencester in the Cotswolds.

Email us on info@lake12.co.uk

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