BBK Urdaibai Centre

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element/arrow-grey copy 3 Created with Sketch. Busturia

Famous for its children’s holiday camps, this BBK centre in the privileged environment of the Urdaibai Reserve takes in over 5,000 children each year. At the present time the centre operates as a children’s holiday camp, and also carries out SESZ/CEEP and JAGON educational projects.

BBK also has extensive plans for the use of the centre; next year it will be an education centre with a full range of open-air activities, active leisure, constructive and instructive activities.


The BBK URDAIBAI centre is now almost 100 years old, and has constantly adapted to the needs of each age. The BBK URDAIBAI centre has been a pioneer of innovative projects since 1925. At that time, in the absence of any welfare state, the Savings Bank did its utmost to deploy a clear project: to help boost the health of children in Bizkaia with a pioneer project which was remarkable in terms of the quality of its facilities and the hygienist treatments deployed. It was, in fact, comparable to European sanatoriums of the time in Switzerland or Belgium.

In 1964 the objectives changed, because Bizkaia society and its needs were changing. The facilities were modernised to include education, and teach the first stage of the State’s General Basic Education.

Another major change occurred in 1982. By this stage it was no longer necessary to boost infant health, but work was required in terms of knowledge and sensitivity concerning one of the challenges facing society: environmental education. From that year onwards, the main focus of holiday activities was to provide a physical pedagogical space to introduce pupils to innovative education and leisure programmes, generating attitudes in relation to the environment, communication, values and co-existence. In the same year, a cooperation agreement between the Basque Government and BBK led to the creation of CEEP (Sukarrieta School Experimentation Centre).

The following year, 1983, saw the introduction of summer schools as education/leisure facilities for children between the ages of 7 and 14. The objective was to promote the values of co-existence and friendship through a programme of educational, sporting and leisure activities based on the enjoyment of nature and the surroundings. The BBK initiative set out to assist with work-life balance during the summer months, providing a privileged environment for the enjoyment of constructive leisure time.

Weekend packages were created in the same spirit in Sukarrieta in 1995.

The JAGON initiative emerged in 2015 as a new pioneer educational programme seeking to help identify, prevent and address harassment at schools and cyberbullying.