Designed for schools – YMCA unveils plans for futuristic centre

Designed for schools – YMCA unveils plans for futuristic centre

In late autumn 2017, work will hopefully begin on our new South Camp outdoor education centre. The new eco-friendly building, with stunning views over Lake Windermere, has been designed with schools in mind. Fundraising for the project continues and all being well, it’s expected to open at the end of the summer term 2019.

With capacity for 192 individuals, improved safeguarding, wet and dry entrances and multi-use break out areas are just some of the benefits schools will enjoy when the centre opens. Tony Ball, Programme Operations Manager explains:

“The new South Camp centre not only looks amazing but it’s also designed around the practical needs of school groups. There are 8 wings, each with teachers’ en-suite bedrooms, hi-tech entrances and rooms for relaxation or learning. It means that we can offer separate male and female sleeping quarters and safely accommodate more than one school at a time.

The South Centre comprises:

  • En-suite rooms sleeping 2, 4 or 6 people.
  • 2 x teacher/leader rooms for each wing.
  • High-tech security access.
  • Multi-use breakout/teaching rooms.
  • Dry entrance for arrival.
  • Wet entrance for after activities.
  • Fully catered, communal restaurant area*.

While young people are encouraged to enjoy a visit to Lakeside without technology, it’s anticipated that the new centre will have full Wi-Fi connectivity.

*Please inform our team of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Sensitively designed

Our new centre has also been designed with the environment in mind. As you’d expect from such a futuristic building, it will have high standards of energy conservation. Architecturally, the building is designed to ‘disappear’ into the landscape, minimising the visual impact on Lake Windermere.

Camping continues

For those groups who enjoy tented camping, which has always taken place at South Camp, don’t worry. Camping will continue at Lakeside, but will be relocated within our site when work begins on the new centre.

South Camp - artist's impression in-story pic

Book your place today

To avoid disappointment, bookings will only be taken for the new South Centre when the opening date has been confirmed.

However, if you book in advance for a school visit in 2019 your party will be upgraded – free of charge – to the new South Centre if it is open on your visit date. For more information call 01539 539000 or email

Download our schools, colleges & youth groups brochure