A growing educational business, which has big plans for the future, is set for expansion as it prepares to move to a new base in Southwold.

Outdoor education provider, the Geography Fieldwork Academy (GFA), is moving into the town's Old Hospital Hub on March 1.

Lowestoft Journal: Geography Fieldwork AcademyGeography Fieldwork Academy (Image: Geography Fieldwork Academy)

Established in 2017, GFA delivers geography fieldwork tuition to students aged between 11-18.

Set up by Chris Webster, former head of geography at Bungay High School, it provides fieldwork studies for A-level and GCSE students in physical and human geography.

While it offers courses throughout East Anglia and Lincolnshire, its primary focus is Southwold as students from schools all over the country come to the town, all year round, to study a diverse range of local issues.

Lowestoft Journal: The Geography Fieldwork Academy in SouthwoldThe Geography Fieldwork Academy in Southwold (Image: Geography Fieldwork Academy)

These include the challenges of managing a dynamic coastline, the impact of second homes and holiday lets on the town's economy, identity and the sustainability of the community.

Mr Webster said: "The GFA successfully established itself with the support of the Southwold Arts Centre and will continue to welcome larger groups of students to the town’s theatre on Cumberland Road.

"However, the additional space which has now been secured in the Old Hospital, just across St Edmunds Green, will enable the expansion of the business by increasing the ability to meet the growing demand for their services."

Lowestoft Journal: The Geography Fieldwork Academy on the seawall.The Geography Fieldwork Academy on the seawall. (Image: Geography Fieldwork Academy)

After using the meeting rooms of the Old Hospital’s co-working space for a class, Mr Webster approached SouthGen - which owns the Old Hospital Hub - with a proposal to rent all of the co-working space for a three-year period, which was agreed.

SouthGen chairman, Jessica Jeans, said: "Although we had not gone looking for this arrangement, it quickly became clear that this was a win-win situation not just for both parties but for the town.

"Bringing more young people and teachers into the town, many from urban schools, will help people understand the issues of rural regeneration.

"It will help our High Street traders by increasing footfall throughout the year."

Mr Webster added: "This arrangement represents a major leap for us as a business, our expansion will create further local employment and boost our contribution to the town's economy.

"In addition to our fieldwork courses, we will be creative in the school holidays and oversee a mixed programme of educational workshops in the heart of the town."