City of Wolverhampton Council
The City of Wolverhampton Council (CWC) owns and operates The Towers Outdoor Residential Pursuits Centre (Towers) near Betws-y-Coed in North Wales. The Towers offers outdoor education activity to school pupils from Wolverhampton and other schools, outside the Wolverhampton area, to support learning and personal development, as outlined in the National Curriculum. The Centre is currently operating at an annual loss in the region of £200k, which CWC effectively subsidises. The Council has recognised that it cannot continue to operate the Towers on this basis and committed to a detailed review and future options appraisal to minimise the subsidy element and provide the most appropriate outdoor education offer to the children and schools of Wolverhampton. C.Co was commissioned to undertake this work.
To determine the most appropriate solution for the Council, and indeed the Towers Outdoor Education Centre, C.Co undertook a combination of engagement with other providers; engagement with customers and non-customers alike; benchmarking against other providers; consultation with employees and other key stakeholders such as the Friends of Towers Group. A pragmatic solution and recommendation was presented back to the Council.
Our experience of change and transformation projects, linked to the commercial agenda, enabled us to develop a Council-led solution that will deliver efficiencies and cashable savings, whilst enabling the service to focus on the development of new business and income opportunities. This includes the development of a standalone self-catering unit and will exploit local, North Wales partnerships to support the Towers moving forward. These new opportunities will not detract from core business and if successful will cross-subsidise the core offer to the children and schools of Wolverhampton.
At C.Co, we support organisations with solutions for all aspects of change management, enabling successful improvement and transformation across the public sector. If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with us today.