Rural England Prosperity Fund case study - Walton Firs camping pods

With a Rural Surrey LEADER grant, Walton Firs doubled their sheltered accommodation capacity by buying 10 portable accommodation pods, enabling more school group bookings.

Walton Firs, an outdoor education and activity centre for young people, originally a Scout Association site, has been operating independently since 2008 as the registered charity Walton Firs Foundation. It has been expanding its client base to include schools and many other youth groups. The Foundation, which runs the site, was struggling to meet demand as the residential capacity of the site was oversubscribed. Bookings were being placed two years in advance and increasingly groups requested sheltered accommodation in preference to camping.

The Foundation had already upgraded the toilet and shower facilities and then found a unique solution to the accommodation issue. Having portable accommodation pods allows Walton Firs to offer visiting groups quirky and fun sheltered accommodation at an affordable price and allows the site to attract school groups with the higher quality accommodation.

The Foundation was awarded a Rural Surrey LEADER grant to purchase 10 accommodation pods each sleeping eight people. Walton Firs Outdoor Activity Centre has now almost doubled their sheltered accommodation capacity in a short timeframe.

Project costs, grant awarded, and job created

Mobile accommodation pods

Total project cost £122,800

Grants awarded: £98,240

Jobs created: 2.5 FTEs over 3 years

Are you eligible for a Rural England Prosperity Fund grant for your project?

Inspired? Would your project be eligible for a Rural England Prosperity Fund grant? Could you get up to £50,000 and up to 50% of your capital costs with Rural England Prosperity Fund grant? Find out about the Rural England Prosperity Fund.

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