South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has joined fellow MSPs from across the political divide in a bid to put pressure on the Scottish Government to save Scotland’s outdoor education centres.

Outdoor education centres across Scotland have been forced to remain closed since March and many are now facing the prospect of never being able to re-open.

The new cross-party lobbying group comprises MSPs from all political parties and is calling on the Scottish Government to find £3 million as an emergency fund to ensure outdoor centres survive the winter.

Colin Smyth said: “Pressure is really mounting on the Scottish Government to come up with the money to help Scotland’s outdoor education centres.

“I was happy to join my fellow MSPs to lobby the government on this matter and the cross-party nature of this group shows just how important an issue this is.

“The outdoor education sector desperately needs support and it desperately needs that support now. Many have not been able to access any of the financial help available to businesses and other third sector organisations. They are very much the forgotten sector.

“At a time when our children are facing part of their childhood growing up in the shadow of this pandemic, the benefits of outdoor education on mental and physical health are arguably needed more than ever before.

“It would be an absolute travesty if the government did not recognise the urgency of this crisis and did not do more to provide the sector with the support they badly need and save our outdoor centres, not just for today’s children but for generations to come.”

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