THE future of Braeside and Oxenwood education centres is on the table next Tuesday when Wiltshire Council's cabinet meets to decide whether to start talks with preferred bidders Wiltshire College and Community First.

If the council agrees a deal the centres will remain open with backing from the unity authority until 202 if needed. In a statement its said negotiations will work towards transition and keeping both sites open to ensure a smooth transition to the new providers.

Community First plans to continue outdoor education at Oxenwood, with curriculum-based outdoor education services. The proposal integrates its established work with Wiltshire young people and youth groups.

Wiltshire College wants to transfer the Braeside staff and service to the college site at Lackham. and create a new outdoor education facility with 120 beds. The provision will have a comprehensive range of outdoor education facilities and opportunities that exploit the location next to the river Avon and agricultural college facilities.

The preferred bidders have been put forward after an evaluation by officers and councillors. Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for finance, said: “We are recommending negotiations go ahead with these two parties as we believe they offer the most secure and exciting provision for all young people into the future.

“We are being true to our pledge to look at both the social value and the finances. There are some negotiations to go and we need to get this right for our young people. I am now confident that given the interest shown by the preferred suppliers we can take this forward and provide both an outstanding and sustainable outdoor education provision for Wiltshire which is recognised throughout the region.”

A decision for Wiltshire Council to cease its provision of Outdoor Education at the two sites was made in March and these latest developments mean that Outdoor Education can be sustained and potentially improved in the county at no cost to the council.