On 3rd August 2011 a major fire broke out at 3am, either caused by an electrical fault or thieves bending a security light to steal tools from a nearby shed.
It destroyed the 1896 clubhouse beyond repair. The club lost the left hand side of the building including all the boats in the two boat-bays below and some of the historic pictures and artefacts in the clubroom above. The rest of the club was seriously smoke damaged and the club had to relocate to a tent while part of the club was patched up and cleaned.
The club was back racing and winning within 3 days, fully operational back at the club within 3 months and we're on target to be fully rebuild as a premier watersports hub within 3 years of the fire. Find out more at the dedicated Watersports Hub site.
The new design will:
- allow more boat storage,
- triple the size of the gym,
- increase changing space for women,
- make the club fully accessible to the disabled
- provide more gym facilities to the community
- provide facilities to other sports
We will grow our club and provide a facility that will sustain it through the next hundred years. There is a huge demand for rowing both as a competitive sport and for fitness and we can satisfy this with our new building.
In addition to providing a new home for the rowing club, the building will be a water sports hub offering facilities to other sports clubs and community groups.
This will include use by canoeists, triathletes and open water swimmers and the local clubs are supporting our scheme and should benefit it.
There will also be a community gym and excellent provision for disabled participants in rowing and canoeing.
We need to raise over £2.3 million to buy our land and build the new building. We have a grant of £1 million from Sport England, and have raised over £900,000 on top of that.
We have the planning permission, we have the freehold of the site, we have the designs, we have the professional support and we have been recreated as a registered charity.