THE council owned Plas Pencelli Outdoor Centre, in the Brecon Beacons, is set to be expanded.

For almost 50 years the council has run the venue which provides outdoor activities, such as kayaking and rock climbing, for youngsters, Many councils own similar activity centres around the country but have been selling them off in an attempt to balance budgets.

However, Plas Pencelli is breaking even, so the council wants to expand it so that it can increase revenues.

An extension to the main lodge is planned which will increase its capacity, which is currently about 120 people, while also increasing the flexibility of activities it can offer to schools.

The overall cost is anticipated to be £167,000, of which £77,000 will come from Plas Pencelli reserves and the rest will be repaid from money the centre makes over the next decade.

The site is run by councillors from both Swindon and Wiltshire, as well as an independent member.

Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) is on the panel and welcomed the move to expand.

He said: “Plas Pencelli is probably one of Swindon’s least well known crown jewels.

“It is something the council has had for almost 50 years but the only people who really know about it are those who visited the centre when they were at school.

“It is a great educational facility for schools and other organisations in Swindon and other areas.”

When the centre expands it will be able to accommodate the needs of more schools, such as offering multiple activities.

Since it opened, schools from Swindon and Wiltshire have enjoyed activity trips to the site.

Coun Renard said: “Many schools like to book one or two years in advance and set a week aside. It is hoped that this will allow the lodge to offer greater flexibility, so one school can do one activity while another does something else.”