CONTROL of the Upton Warren Outdoor Education Centre was officially handed over to Aztec Watersports last Tuesday (April 1).
The Standard reported back in February how brothers Craig and Mark Spence – two watersports enthusiasts who learnt to sail at Upton Warren – were chosen to take on the centre after a rigorous selection process.
It was operated by Worcestershire County Council but the authority has relinquished its role in a bid to make budget savings.
Craig and Mark Spence, who launched Aztec Watersports in 1993, said they were both excited about taking over.
“This is a great success for both Aztec and Worcestershire County Council for the future of the centre.
“We will be developing and rebranding the centre, introducing new activities and packages aimed at children, schools, organisations, families and other bodies.”
The pair praised the county council for its help and support throughout the transfer process and added they were looking forward to the forthcoming season.
“We welcome all to come and see us at the centre,” they added.
The centre’s 20-acre lake plays host to watersports for all ages, including canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and improved rafting.
And back in February, Craig Spence said the pair also wanted to increase the numbers using the land-based activities offered at the centre, such as climbing, a ropes course, a high poles course, a tunnel complex, team-building challenges, camping and archery.
There is also a nature reserve.
Coun Liz Eyre, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for children and families, said Aztec was well-suited to manage, organise and provide a future for what was a centre of sporting excellence.
“This will ensure the local community and Worcestershire’s children and young people will be able to benefit from these outdoor activities, right in the centre of the country, for years to come,” she added.