A lot of work that the committee has been involved in the last few months is coming to a head and much of the committee meeting this month was about how we can tell you what we are planning, involve everyone in the fundraising required and manage the project in the future.

The committee is committed to the existing site and discussions are well under way to secure it, and we will be saying more about that in the coming weeks.

We now have a design for the new building, which we think will provide the club with the base it needs for the future. We have taken into account the overwhelming vote in the consultation to demolish the existing building and build new, and we have a design which should give us the facilities we need for the foreseeable future. We have tested this design with the planners, and we are just incorporating some points they raised. We will host an open session at the club for members and local residents where we can show and explain the design, plans and costing. This is likely to be over the weekend of 12/13th May (details to follow) and after that we will put the plans on the website, but we want to give members and local residents the first view.

In order to fund a rebuild, we will have to raise significant sums of money, and to that end there are various fundraising events planned. These will be run under the control of the fundraising sub-committee, but the committee were concerned that this group needed revitalising, so we will be making some changes to try to revitalise this group.

The other, critical, source of funding will be an application to Sport England’s Iconic Facilities fund. We are in discussions with Sport England and a preliminary submission has been submitted to them. We are in discussions with Sport England and a preliminary submission has been submitted to them. One criteria for this funding is to have an association with other sports clubs so that the Sport England grant assists at least two sports and National Governing Bodies of sport. We have therefore been exploring contacts with other local watersports clubs to see what could be accommodated without causing disruption to rowing. We are also looking at what adaptive (disabled) rowing we could offer – any adaptive provision is likely to need a higher coach to athlete ratio than other rowing, so if there is anyone who would be particularly keen to be involved in this, please let Ed know.

Finally, the committee has agreed to ask the membership for approval to turn the club into a registered charity and company limited by guarantee with a trading company for the commercial activity (i.e. exactly the same as Marlow Sports Club). Associated with this are some governance changes, aimed at streamlining the committee and allowing more activity to be carried out through subcommittees. For many members these changes will be invisible, but overall we hope that they will allow greater participation in the club. To make this change we will be calling a general meeting (EGM) on Wednesday 13th June to ask for approval for these changes. Full details will be contained in the letter to the membership and available through the website for those with member logins.