COST pressures could lead to Monmouthshire council considering the closure of a second outdoor education centre, according to a report.

The county council ended the Gwent Outdoor Education Service Partnership in January last year, after funding was withdrawn by Newport and Torfaen, while Blaenau Gwent indicated it would end its contribution.The Talybont outdoor centre in Powys was also closed, while Monmouthshire council pledged to continue providing the service from its two remaining sites - at Hilston Park near Monmouth and Gilwern Outdoor Centre near Abergavenny.But the service is now facing further financial pressures, with predicted debts of £95,000 for this year.A council report shows there have been less bookings for the service this year, with schools showing less interest due to stretched budgets.There has also been a "significant increase" in the number of independent operators offering outdoor activities which are more affordable.The price of the service has also led to some schools reducing the length of stay at the two centres.A council report says operating the service from just one site may now have to be considered."The level of overspend may continue and although we have made some changes to the staffing structure, reduced costs where possible, consideration may need to be given to whether we need to continue to operate at two sites as a sustainable model," it says."With demand being fairly static, a one site approach would reduce fixed costs and encourage fuller occupancy of the remaining site and would enable the service to concentrate on delivering a high quality product."The Hilston Park site, which has a grade-II listing, would need significant investment, with users describing it as ’shabby’ and "well past its best", it is said."Notwithstanding its stunning setting and the splendour of its original interior, the centre is in dire need of investment," the report adds.Gilwern, the larger of the two sites, is said to offer potential as a young people’s hub, which could extend the outdoor education service to new markets.As well as considering a one site approach, the service is also looking at becoming more entrepreneurial and business like.This could include offering adventure days during school holidays, working with carer groups more and being more flexible with services offered.Monmouthshire council’s cabinet will discuss how to move to "a more sustainable model of delivery" at a meeting on Wednesday.