On Monday 13 May we began work on our new clubhouse and amenities with a helping hand from the Leader of Adur District Council.
Our new HQ will mean that Shoreham will become the home of one of the UK’s best disabled sailing facilities, whilst enabling the building of flood defences to protect the town.
Councillor Neil Parkin, David Smith of Coast to Capital and the Area Director of the Environment Agency James Humphrys joined us along with Sussex Sailability to celebrate the launch of the building works to create a new £4.2 million clubhouse and facilities; which will be completed by June 2020.
Adur District Council bought our existing clubhouse, which will be demolished, to enable the construction of flood defences to protect homes and businesses in Shoreham-by-Sea. It is part of a larger regeneration project for the town that includes a harbour view cycle path and a new pedestrian walkway.
Knowing that we would need to rebuild our clubhouse, we wanted to ensure that the new facilities would be fully accessible to everyone. Terry Kinch, our Commodore said, “We are proud to have had Sussex Sailability, a charity that enables people with disabilities to sail, based at our club since 2001.
“We’d made every possible adaption to allow sailors with disabilities as much independence as we could, but retro-fitting an old building has its limitations. So, when we heard that we were going to have to move to enable the flood defences to be built, we saw this as a massive opportunity. It has allowed us to completely rethink what we need from the ground up; to get everything right.
“So, we’ve worked closely with the membership of Sussex Sailability, the charity Changing Rooms and specialist architects to design a building that would allow us to provide the very best possible sailing experience in the UK for disabled sailors.
“We want this to be a development that the people of Shoreham are proud of and we are looking forward to welcoming the community in to enjoy what we have on offer here.”
Chris Hodge, the Chairman of Sussex Sailability said, “It’s exciting to think that Shoreham will be the location for this flagship development; leading the way in enabling everyone to have full, independent access to sailing.
“It’s a really positive approach for Sussex Yacht Club to take and I hope that their focus on accessibility will encourage many more people who live with disabilities to try the sport and to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water.”
Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said, "After many months of hard work, I'm pleased to see work start on this fantastic new facility for Sussex Yacht Club.
"The wider project, which has involved extensive commitment from a number of key partners, will deliver big benefits to the whole town - most importantly, creating cycling and walking routes on the river side of the A259 while plugging the gap in flood defences which, in turn, will bring increased investment into Shoreham."
Jonathan Sharrock, the Chief Executive of Coast to Capital said, “We contributed £3.5 million Local Growth Funding towards the Western Harbour Arm which has been identified as a major area for regeneration. We are pleased that, as part of the wider scheme, the Yacht Club has benefitted from the improvement works and will be delighted to see progress as the project continues.”
James Humphrys, the Area Director of the Environment Agency added, “It is always a delight, on professional and personal levels, when flood defence schemes align with exciting developments which will improve places for wider benefit.
“Sussex Yacht Club does excellent charity work and will continue to be a vital and treasured piece of the Shoreham landscape, and it is splendid that flood defence works have catalysed a wonderful upgrade to the club facilities.”