A MULTI-MILLION pound investment will enable an outdoor activity centre to create brand-new facilities.

The Urdd Glan-llyn Outdoor Activity Centre in Bala is set to receive a £2million investment to renovate the Urdd residential centre and watersports training facilities for Llyn Tegid.

The joint investment by the Welsh Government and Urdd Gobaith Cymru was revealed by Kirsty Williams AM, cabinet secretary for education as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme to improve educational facilities across Wales.

£1.2m will be invested at the Glan-llyn centre to renew and improve the facilities at Llyn Tegid for the first time in 40 years will offer flexibility for a number of different groups to receive training in water activities at the same time.

The work to alleviate the continued rise in demand for water activities and facilities. The licence for access to Llyn Tegid held by Glan-llyn makes the centre the ideal place to develop the facilities and to offer high quality training.

A further £800k at the Glan-llyn will develop Glan-llyn Isaf, located 200 metres away from the main Glan-llyn centre, into a 30 bed residential centre for sixth form pupils, further education and university students, as well as families and adults that want a more independent experience away from the main centre.

It is hoped the development will create apprenticeship opportunities and a new audience for Glan-llyn therefore increase the opportunity for income creation for the area.

AM Kirsty Williams said: “It’s my pleasure to announce this funding, under the 21st Century Schools Programme, for the development of Urdd facilities in Glan-Llyn and Llangrannog. Modernising education infrastructure plays a key part in raising standards and delivering on our National Mission.

“The Urdd plays a vital role in providing yearlong learning opportunities for young people in Wales. They also make a vital contribution to creating children who are social and healthy, and use the Welsh language outside of school.

“I look forward to seeing these developments and how they will help to improve the Urdd experience for future children.”

Today, 56 per cent of all Welsh schools attend Urdd centres on residential courses, and of those who visited over the past 3 years, 26 per cent came from the most deprived communities in Wales.

More second language Welsh schools visit the centres than first language Welsh schools, which demonstrates their value as an access point to the Welsh language.

The investment is another step forward for the Welsh Government to achieve one million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050.

Siân Lewis, Urdd chief executive, said: “Pioneering, modern centres which support ‘learning outside the classroom’ enable children and young people to learn, develop personally and socially.

"Through Urdd centres this will all be achieved whilst at the same time increasing their confidence in their use of the Welsh language.

“Thanks to this substantial matching investment from Welsh Government, the Urdd will be able to improve facilities and resources, create new jobs in rural Wales, upgrade infrastructure and create a fantastic environment in which to encourage effective learning throughout the year for future generations of Welsh children and young people.”