Victory in Stedham camp site bid


MIDHURST Youth Trust has won its bid to take over the campsite at Stedham for the use of young people across the county.

The campsite, which had a £300,000 price tag on it, has played host to some 5,000 young people every year, from schools, scouts and guides and Duke of Edinburgh award groups.

But it closed last year 
and was put up for sale by West Sussex County Council as part of its financial cutbacks.

However, chairman of the youth trust Colin Hughes put in a community right-to-buy bid to save the much-used facility.

“The success of this bid is a joy to the trust,” he said. “We are most grateful to the charitable foundation that provided the funds to enable the purchase to be made and the West Sussex County Council who viewed the bid favourably.

“We are also most grateful to those who wrote letters supporting our efforts to buy the site which were a very important part of the bid.

“Now we have a lot of work to do getting the campsite back into shape following nearly two years’ closure.”

Facilities include a classroom, gas cooking facilities, toilets, shower, a yurt and an outdoor marquee which were used by 5,000 young people in the site’s last year.

“It is situated in a most beautiful place with extensive views of the downs,” said Mr Hughes.

“The trust hopes to resume camping there from next spring.”

County council cabinet member for finance, Michael Brown, said: “The tender offers we received were diverse. They did not just contain a bid – they also gave interested parties an opportunity to sell their vision for the future operation of the site.

“The bid from the Midhurst Youth Trust was attractive because the organisation is familiar with the history of the site, and there was a strong slant towards education.”