We’re very sorry to say that we’ve had to make the difficult decision to close our outdoor activity centre, Netherurd. Despite our best efforts, a move to running more virtual trainings, low numbers of members using the facility and the impact of the Coronavirus exacerbating financial issues, means it is no longer viable for us to continue operating.
We want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank all the staff and volunteers who have made Netherurd a place of adventure and provided ever-lasting memories for so many girls and young people. This is a significant loss to Girlguiding Scotland and we know many will be upset by this news. Our priority remains our members and we’re committed to ensuring that girls and young women can keep having adventures and benefit from all that the outdoors has to offer.
You can read the full statement here.
Netherurd is currently closed and will not reopen.
There are a number of factors that have led to this decision, including a shift in the way future training will be delivered, low usage of the facility by Girlguiding members and financial issues which have been further strained by the impact of COVID-19 and the cessation of all activities at the facility since March.
Future training: Despite our ongoing commitment to host many of our national and county training events at Netherurd, the shift to running more virtual training events – which allow for members living in remote locations to take part more easily – further reduced our potential future use of the centre. Although some training bookings may have picked back up as the COVID-19 threat lessened, it was unlikely to return to previous levels of use.
Low percentage of members using the facility: Looking at our customer breakdown, Netherurd experienced a drop in member use after 2017. Currently less than 10% of the membership use the centre in any one year.
Finances and COVID-19: Following a poor financial performance, a review was undertaken in 2014/15 which resulted in investment in Netherurd based on a 5-year plan for improving business performance. Although the initial results were positive, the centre recorded significant deficits in 2018 and 2019. Netherurd’s closure in March 2020 due to COVID-19 placed additional strain on its finances.
As ever, Girlguiding Scotland’s main priority remains our members. The decision to close Netherurd, although difficult, will ensure the time and money currently subsidising the centre will be invested into improving the overall experience for our members.
The majority of current staff, with the exception of a groundskeeper, will be made redundant.
Netherurd will be in touch with all who have an existing booking to organise a refund. Please bear with us as we address bookings in chronological order and wait to be contacted with further information. We thank you for your patience.
We will share an updated list of venues available within Guiding counties and put together a list of places recommended by members that are owned by other groups and organisations.