Swanage outdoor education centre up for sale at £2m

The Allnatt Outdoors centre in Swanage, which introduced thousands of school children to the Jurassic Coast, is being sold off after Covid restrictions wiped out its income.

The series of buildings along Ulwell Road opposite All Saints Church, have been put on the market as a development opportunity by the estate agent, Savills.

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Four semi-detached and two detached houses

The agent says that it is selling the site comprising four semi-detached and two detached houses for a sum in excess of £2 million. The deadline for offers is 12 noon on Friday 18th June 2021.

The particulars add that the property would be suitable to continue as an educational institution or for residential development, subject to planning.

The centre closed down in January 2021 when all its staff were made redundant but it hadn’t been able to host residential school parties since the beginning of the first Covid lockdown in March 2020.

Outdoor industry protest at Old Harry Rocks
Allnatt Outdoors

Campaign to support the outdoor education sector

The former CEO of Allnatt Outdoors, Sarah Beech fought a campaign to persuade the government to support the outdoor education sector to get through the crisis and warned at the time that centres like Allnatt wouldn’t be able to survive.

The protest was backed by other Swanage-based members of the industry, including Cumulus Outdoors, Leeson House Field Studies Centre, Fore Adventure, Land and Wave and Geofieldwork.

Exterior of the Allnatt Centre

Originally founded in 1924

Allnatt Outdoors was originally founded in 1924 – nearly a 100 years ago, by Joseph Allnatt to provide children from different backgrounds and localities the experience of enjoying educational trips away.

Before the pandemic it had two centres – one in Ulwell Road in Swanage and the other was a Victorian mansion at East Dene on the Isle of Wight. The East Dene Centre was sold off earlier this year.

Despite having a million pounds worth of forward bookings for residential school trips, without being able to operate throughout the pandemic, the company could not survive having lost 97 percent of its income.

The full sale particulars are available on the estate agent’s website

Exterior of the Allnatt Centre

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