In the serene setting of Llanuwchllyn near Bala, the Urdd’s residential center, Gwersyll yr Urdd Glan-llyn, ushers in a transformative chapter with a £2 million investment.
This substantial upgrade heralds a new dawn for the center, renowned for its outdoor education programs. The project unveils a state-of-the-art water activities training center, strategically positioned on the shores of Lake Llyn Tegid, poised to enrich the experiences of visitors and students alike.
The new center is not just a building; it’s a beacon of modernity and convenience, boasting accommodation, self-catering facilities, and versatile meeting areas.
These enhancements are complemented by practical changing rooms and a dedicated workshop, all designed to elevate the center’s offering. The upgrade is a physical manifestation of the Urdd’s commitment to fostering outdoor learning and adventure in the heart of Wales.
At the helm of this renewed facility is Mair Edwards, succeeding Huw Antur as the director of Glan-llyn. With over 16 years of experience in community development, Edwards is set to steer the center toward its ambitious vision.
This vision is part of a larger, strategic £10 million project aimed at revitalizing the Urdd’s residential centers, ensuring they remain at the forefront of outdoor education in Wales, according to a North Wales Pioneer report.
The Welsh Government, recognizing the center’s pivotal role in youth development, has extended significant financial support for the project.
Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles MS has been instrumental in this initiative, underlining the government’s dedication to enhancing educational facilities and cultural experiences for young people across Wales.
A notable aspect of the upgrade is the transformation of ‘Glan-llyn Isa’, a 150-year-old building, into self-contained accommodation.
Since its opening in 2021, it has garnered popularity, serving as a testament to the center’s ability to blend historical preservation with modern educational needs. This balance of old and new is a cornerstone of the center’s charm and appeal.
Looking to the future, the center is set to expand its horizons with the opening of a new camping site, Cae Penllyn, by spring 2024.
This addition will offer kitchen and self-catering facilities alongside a multi-use community area, catering to both large and small groups. It’s a strategic move to accommodate the growing number of visitors and enhance the center’s community engagement.
The Urdd’s Residential Centres are a hub of activity, annually attracting around 103,000 visitors, including over 850 primary and secondary schools. Remarkably, 52% of these young adventurers come from non-Welsh medium schools, providing them with a unique opportunity to immerse in Welsh social, cultural, and sports activities.
As the upgrades reach completion, the center stands as a beacon of progress in the realm of outdoor education. The new facilities not only enhance the learning experience but also ensure that the center remains a cherished destination for generations to come.
The investment in Glan-llyn is a clear indication of the Urdd’s and the Welsh government’s commitment to nurturing the potential of young people through educational excellence and cultural enrichment.