Funding for the protection and enhancement of the natural environment around the new boathouse
Posted: 13th October 2014
Gloucester Boathouse, 326 Bristol Road, Hempsted, Gloucester, GL2 5DH
From the time it was established in 1846, Gloucester Rowing Club has developed an enviable reputation for nurturing world class talent, with two international rowers flying the flag for Gloucester and Great Britain. This new boathouse will provide facilities for rowing, canoeing, angling and support for many other sports that will reflect the vision to become a centre of excellence, significantly increasing and sustaining water sports. It has been designated the 'Adaptive Rowing Centre' for the Region to promote and facilitate rowing for the disabled. It will provide a great opportunity to develop new world class talent. Already two club members have competed at the London Olympics and three Gloucester Rowing Club Juniors have won medals at the World Junior Championships in 2010. Junior level rowing represents the biggest potential growth area in Gloucestershire.
Now construction of a £1.5 million boathouse is underway, providing purpose-built facilities for water sports, particularly rowing and canoeing for all the local community.
A substantial grant of £500,000 came from Sport England's Improvement Fund, which added to private donations, fund-raising and a substantial grant of £250,000 from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust which considered this excellent Flagship project to be pivotal in contributing towards a great Olympics legacy for future generations.
Based at Hempsted Meadows, the Gloucester Boathouse project was developed to cater for the growing demand for all paddle-based water sports and proposes to offer regional and national rowers some of the best Olympic standard facilities in the UK.
The project will provide improved facilities for clubs, schools, colleges, universities and the general public. It will cater for rowing, canoeing, angling and other related sports to accommodate the needs of different abilities, backgrounds and age groups.
British Rowing has designated this Boathouse to be the Adaptive Rowing Centre for the region to promote and facilitate rowing for the disabled. The National Star College supporting people with disabilities is a also partner for the project.
To encourage participation amongst adults, Gloucester Rowing Club is an active adopter of the British Rowing 'Explore' initiative, which encourages people of all ages to take up rowing as a regular recreational activity. At the elite level, GRC is partnering with Hartpury College to offer British Rowing's 'Start' programme, seeking to find and develop the next generation of rowing Olympians.
The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust funded the protection and enhancement of the natural environment around the new boathouse. Part of the site is intended to be used for a natural habitat area and Gloucester Rowing Club plans to work with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge for the design and implementation of planting and developing wildlife features. The retention of rainwater, will be used to benefit the site and the natural environment in the vicinity of the adjacent canal and land.
Gloucester Rowing Club's new home should be complete by early 2015. Tony Markey, a keen rower since he was 15, one of the club's fundraisers and director of the Markey Group, which is building the boathouse, said: "This will be a great Olympics legacy project."
The following clubs, schools and organisations have given written letters of support and are planning to use the new facility: Gloucester Rowing Club, British Rowing, Hartpury College, Gloucester Canoe Club, Marathon Canoe Club, Gloucester City Council, The National Star College, Gloucestershire College, University of Gloucestershire, Royal Agricultural University, Cheltenham Ladies College, Beaudesert High School, Angling Development Board, Severn Area Rescue Association.