After many years planning, campaigning and fundraising Swanage Sea Rowing Club (a registered charity) has generated over £350,000 to build a striking new boathouse which will be officially opened on 7 December.
The building, faced with local Purbeck stone and set into the hillside with an environmental green roof, will house the club’s gigs and provide them with a permanent base, an indoor rowing training area and changing facilities. The club chairman Martin Steeden said, “This is more than just a boathouse – it will become the ‘gateway to the sea’ for individuals and groups wanting to improve their health and wellbeing. In addition to sea rowing, we will run indoor fitness sessions, courses on sea safety and essential boat repair and maintenance. This is a state-of-the art facility which we will be able share with the local community and provide something for everyone.”
The opening ceremony will include funders Dorset Chalk and Cheese (who contributed 45% of the total project cost), the de Moulham Trust, the Valentine Charitable Trust, the Talbot Village Trust, Canford Environmental, British Rowing, and Swanage Town and Purbeck District councils. Private donors, other associations, local businesses, past trustees and club members who also contributed towards the grand total, will be there to witness the moment when the boathouse fund’s first donor Lindy Phillips cuts the ribbon.
The club will now have suitable facilities that will allow it to extend its commitment to community groups, schools and young people in the area. It organises a variety of local and national events with the members including social rowing, participating in the annual Thames Great River Race and racing with gigs competing at regattas across the south west with other clubs.
The opening ceremony takes place on Saturday, 7 December at 11am and Encombe Road, BH19 2AR will be closed by Order of the Council between 10.30am and noon for the duration.