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Bawdsey Manor purchased by adventure holiday company PGL

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 March 2017

Bawdsey Manor. Picture: KNIGHT FRANK

Bawdsey Manor. Picture: KNIGHT FRANK

Archant

Grade II listed Bawdsey Manor is set to open as a children’s adventure holiday centre this summer after being bought up by the PGL brand.

The sprawling manor house, near Woodbridge, went up for sale in September 2016 with a price tag of £5million but there were concerns the responsibility of maintaining the sea defences beneath may put potential buyers off.

PGL, which runs 14 outdoor education centres around the country, have revealed they are “delighted” and “excited” to have acquired the 144-acre site.

In a statement they said: “We are delighted to announce that we have a fantastic new property on the stunning Suffolk Heritage Coast.

“With a range of great facilities including a gym, classrooms, playing fields, extensive landscaped gardens and a scenic beach with panoramic views across the coast, it’s a great location and we are very excited to be welcoming our first guests in a few months’ time.”

PGL plans to open their newest addition in time for summer 2017 with basic activities such as archery, climbing wall, fencing and sensory trail on offer.

PGL Commercial Director, John Firth, revealed the company, founded in 1957, plans to add more activities such as absailing, a zip wire and canoeing for 2018.

“At Bawdsey Manor, we hope to refurbish the existing buildings and grounds and to create additional accommodation for visiting pupils and teachers.

“We plan to open for our first guests this summer and will create more than 100 jobs, not only instructing activities, but in catering, housekeeping, site maintenance and management roles.

“We are excited by the opportunity to open a new site in such an attractive and important location in Suffolk and to safeguard such an important site of national and local heritage.”

Previously a boarding school, Bawdsey Manor, built in 1886, was home of the world’s first operational radar station and the RAF’s nerve centre during the Battle of Britain,

Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “We welcome this news, which will have a positive impact on local employment as well as tourism. Suffolk Coastal District Council looks forward to working with the new owners in the future.”

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