We are building a new centre for rowing and canoeing in Gloucestershire to provide:
- A home for Gloucester Rowing Club and Gloucester Canoe Club offering recreational and competitive rowing and canoeing for all ages (8-80+)
- Development of future Olympians with the Hartpury Rowing Academy
- A facility open to all schools, colleges and universities in Gloucestershire
- Regional centre for Adaptive Rowing (for the disabled)
- Training camps for clubs in the region and national-level crews
- Regattas drawing entries from across the country
- Fun regattas open to all
In August 2017, we completed the ground floor boat bays and toilets and started to use them. A limited fit out of the 1st floor was used for the first time at the Rowing Club’s annual regatta. Our next aim is to improve the level 1 facilities including building the main changing facilities and to construct the main canoe store.
Funding: Over £1.5 million has been raised to date but we now need to raise another £250,000 to to complete the next stage of the project. Please help us meet that goal.
Rowing and Canoeing for those with disabilities
The Rowing Club's current facility is not suited to those with disabilities but a limited range of Adaptive Rowing (rowing for the disabled) is offered. The new boathouse will offer the full range of adaptive facilities for rowing and canoeing; British Rowing has designated it to be the Adaptive Rowing Centre for the Wiltshire, Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset region.
Hosting Regional Events
G RC runs 4 rowing events a year which attract entries from across the local region (and sometimes further afield). In March and October, the Spring and Autumn Heads are timed races attracting about 500 and 350 competitors respectively of all ages and experience. On August Bank Holiday Saturday, a regatta for Masters (over 27s) and Juniors (under 18s) offers side-by-side knock out racing for about 300 competitors. The following day, an Open regatta provides similar racing for about 150 competitors.
These events have been using both the new and old boathouse sites for several years but the additional development in recent years has made it possible to consolidate them on the new site. The use of as single site and the improved facilities have made the events more attractive to visitors and the logistics of running them much simpler. We anticipate further gains for both organisers and participants as the development moves to completion.
In early Autumn, GCC runs a canoeing event attracting about 180 competitors from across the region for timed races. This event was established in 2016 after the basic infrastructure of the site had been developed. In 2017 it benefitted from the partially completed boathouse facilities and will become more attractive once the boathouse has been completed. The success of the event has encouraged GCC to start planning to run a second event each year.
The new facility will not only be a home for the clubs mentioned above, but will enable us to reach out to a wider range of potential participants. We anticipate offering opportunities to try our sports to a range of community groups e.g. Scouts, youth clubs etc. We will also engage with the local health and educational authorities to identify how we can use our facilities to benefit the disadvantaged.
In July 2018, we will be pleased to welcome MacMillan Cancer Support who will be running coracle races in aid of their charity.
GRC currently makes provision for reducing or waiving subscriptions for those who cannot afford them; we intend to extend this provision, probably by establishing a bursary scheme managed by Gloucester Boathouse Limited.
The increased attractiveness of all these events has encouraged Hartpury College and University of Bristol Boat Club to make a joint bid to hold the BUCS (British University Championships) Head at the site from 2019. This is a prestigious national-level event in the rowing calendar and the seriousness with which the bid is being taken is another demonstration of the potential of the site.
We have also received enquiries from regional rowing and canoeing organisations who wish to use our building for some of their regular meetings. Satisfying those requests will have to wait until level 1 is fully accessible and the facilities have been completed.
Gloucester Boathouse Ltd
Company No. 7982029
Charity No. 1147548
Jonathan Garner (appointed by Gloucester Rowing Club)
Paul Markey (co-opted until September 2020)
Stephen Rose (appointed by Gloucester Rowing Club)
113-115 Bath Road
326 Bristol Road