GBH meet the challenge at Lea Green

Beautifully located on a 26 acre site on the edge of the Peak National Park, Derbyshire County Council’s Lea Green outdoor centre is one of the country’s leading team building and development centres with a mission statement to:- “….offer the space, time and support to promote learning beyond that of the classroom or office environment”.

At the Centre’s heart is a magnificent 17th century building which houses the offices and meeting facilities; the whole estate was in private hands until the Council purchased it in 1960. The site had an old oil central heating system for many years, says Ian, then GBH Utilities were contracted to put the mains gas supply in together with some water supply requirements - work which is ongoing for GBH as outbuildings come into play as classrooms and accommodation. Derbyshire County Council’s head of outdoor education, Ian Price, commented:- “Like many people, I suspect, I don’t often compliment providers on good service but I was so impressed with GBH I took the trouble to call Trevor Davies and tell him how pleased the whole team were with their work” Ian points out that some 15000 adults and children pass through Lea Green every year and, on the day of our interview there were almost 200 children on site dispersed across many different activities right across the site.

Therein lies the problem for works being undertaken at the Centre:- “There are very many activities - including high ropes courses, climbing tower, orienteering, archery, rock scrambling, abseiling… the list goes on.”

Health and Safety Paramount

“So participants are constantly on the move around the site, with rooms, buildings and facilities coming in and out of use throughout a day. With critical timetables and health and safety in play you couldn’t have open trenches and planks of wood lying about for example….”

Trevor Davies at GBH says detailed planning was the key to success at Lea Green:- “We sat down with the teams there and worked around the timetable and their particular requirements; sometimes we had to do a part job then make it secure and return to it later. But that was a challenge we had to meet”.

Testimony

Asked for a one word testimony to GBH’s work Ian said we’d have to settle for four!

“Trustworthy, Effective, Efficient and Flexible” he says. “You can add polite and friendly to that list too. On no occasion did GBH fail to do what we asked them to do.” Our thanks to Lea Green for their participation in this article.

Check out their facilities on www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leagreen