Views sought on plans for future of Hill End

Visit the online consultation here

Site owner Oxford University and Oxfordshire County Council, which manages the centre, are planning to investigate setting up an independent charitable company to run the activities at Hill End and unlock new sources of funding.

The council continues to have to make huge savings as a result of reduced Government grants, which means it can no longer provide the investment needed to improve services and meet on-going repair and maintenance costs. Both the university and the council wish to ensure Hill End continues to provide an excellent service for children and young people, supporting their social and emotional health and well-being.

The consultation does not affect current or future bookings at the centre and, if taken forward, transition to a charitable company would mean ‘business as usual’ for schools and other service users.

Positive opportunity

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “At this stage we are investigating the option of a charitable company with our university partners and we want to hear feedback from schools and other stakeholders, as well as the general public. We know how much people value the outdoor activities and education programmes provided by Hill End, and this as a positive opportunity to secure the centre’s future for years to come.

“Hill End has a proud history of providing life-enhancing outdoor activities for Oxfordshire’s children, young people and the wider community. We want to ensure this work not only continues, but that there are also opportunities to enhance services at the centre in future.”

William James, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning at Oxford University, said: “We are pleased to be working with the county council to find a way to ensure that children and young adults will be able to benefit from the facilities at Hill End for generations to come.”

Consultation details

The consultation will run until 5 February. This will be followed by further work to develop a proposal for a charitable company model, which would then be considered by the county council and Oxford University. If approved, a timetable for setting up the charitable company would be agreed in April 2016.

To take part in the consultation please complete the online questionnaire

About Hill End

The Hill End site is owned by Oxford University and has been leased and managed by Oxfordshire County Council since 1974

Outdoor learning at Hill End includes: education programmes, adult learning, training and workshops, forest school, family events and volunteering opportunities.