A campaigner hoping to save the popular Foxlease activity centre has urged the Culture Secretary to step in.

Lucy Frazer KC visited the Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre in the New Forest to announce a £1.5m national fund which will help disadvantaged young people go on adventure days out.

Meanwhile, just a 20 minute drive away, the activity centre in Lyndhurst faces closure as Girlguiding UK decided to sell the site, saying £20m is needed to renovate the Grade II* listed building.

Bournemouth Echo: Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer (right) speaking to the CEO of Youth UK Ndidi Okezie (middle)Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer (right) speaking to the CEO of Youth UK Ndidi Okezie (middle) (Image: DCMS)

The decision sparked an outcry among local residents and MPs - with fellow Tory and New Forest East MP Sir Julian Lewis saying he has been "watching this developing disaster with increasing horror".

Isabelle Haigh's daughter Amelie, 16, has been using the centre since she was five - and said Ms Frazer should not hesitate to step in if the Government can save the centre.

She said: “Something needs to be done and somebody needs to step in.

“The money needs to come from somewhere and if it can come from central Government, then the Government should help this place."

When asked on Tuesday about stepping in to save Foxlease, Ms Frazer said: “I don't know the particular details of that particular facility, but we do have significant funds both for youth clubs and for girl guiding across the country.

"We're putting in £300m pounds to support youth clubs."

This is the Government’s existing Youth Investment Fund, which aims to help up to 300 youth centres across the country be rebuilt or redeveloped.

The Echo has asked Girlguiding UK whether it has applied for this funding and is awaiting a response.

Isabelle, 46, has been fundraising to try to save Foxlease. She said at a time when so many suffer from mental health issues, letting the centre close would only exacerbate the issue.

Bournemouth Echo: Group of young people making a fire at the activity centre

The mum is organising a fundraising dinner in December while Amelie wishes to walk from Winchester, where they live, to the complex in Lyndhurst to raise money.

Speaking to the Echo, Isabelle said: "My daughter was in tears at the thought Foxlease would close because it has been a place that has helped her take her first steps into independence and helped her grow in confidence.

“Where else could my daughter have taken her first steps into independence in safety?"

At her visit yesterday, the Culture Secretary spoke to staff at Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre about the various activities available as she announced the £1.5m Adventures Away From Home Fund.

She said it would allow up to 7,500 young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities and young carers, to go on day trips out and build their 'confidence and resilience'.

The Government also announced yesterday that the next phase of the Million Hours Fund is open for applications, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund.

A Government release said: "Designed to create more than one million additional hours of youth centre provision in areas with high numbers of antisocial behaviour incidents, the £19 million fund will pay for additional youth workers, volunteers, venue hire and activity resources for youth clubs."