Funding makes a splash for new sports facility

Project funders at Druridge Bay celebrating after �125 000 was raised for a new watersports facility at the country park. The project is being led by Coquet Shorebase Trust.
Project funders at Druridge Bay celebrating after �125 000 was raised for a new watersports facility at the country park. The project is being led by Coquet Shorebase Trust.

A NEW watersports facility at Druridge Bay Country Park is set to become a reality following a final funding splash.

The £125,000 proposal to build a new changing area at the visitor centre, with storage for boats and equipment, is being led by the Coquet Shorebase Trust (CST) and supported by Northumberland County Council.

It will facilitate the replacement of an existing portable cabin and remove the current need to bring equipment from Amble for every watersports session at the park.

CST submitted a grant application to Sport England and it was awarded £50,000 of National Lottery funding from the sporting body’s Inspired Facilities Fund.

The rest of the money is coming from UK Coal’s Maidens Hall community benefits fund, Northumberland County Council and local councillors Glen Sanderson, Robert Arckless and Jeff Watson through their local small schemes fund allocations.

CST manager Vic Brown said: “After 20 years of operating with quite basic facilities, we now have the opportunity to provide local people with a modern provision that is fit for the quality of watersports activities which can be experienced at the park.

“Being able to store boats at the lake will take an enormous burden from the shoulders of our volunteer club organisers.”

She thanked Richard Twyford of Palin and Twyford Solicitors, Amble, who has been providing support to the project.

The county council’s countryside management team has arranged for plans to be drawn and submitted, an in-depth mining survey and tree survey to be undertaken, an extension of the water drainage system and ground preparation – including removal of the existing compound and some trees. It also aims to create a new service track and jetty to complement the new facilities.

Coun Simon Reed, executive member responsible for countryside management at the authority, said: “These new facilities will make a great addition to what is on offer at Druridge Bay Country Park – improving the overall experience for those who want to enjoy watersports activities.

“We would like to thank the Shorebase Trust for its commitment to the project and congratulate its members for getting the full funding package in place as well as all the funders for their generous contributions. I look forward to seeing the project move forwards.”

The Inspired Facilities fund is part of Sport England’s £150million Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games into towns and villages across the country.

Sport England’s Chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “With so many clubs just like Coquet Shorebase Trust having benefited from this fund and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community.”

Each summer, CST provides an extensive range of water-based activities on Ladyburn Lake within the country park, a safe and quiet setting for training.

To book a watersports session, or for more information about what is available, contact the organisation by telephone on 01665 710367 or email info@coquetshorebase.org.uk