History, Finance, Project Management and Sustainability
The boathouse project was started by Gloucester Rowing Club. With support from British Rowing, Gloucester City Council, Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association and local businesses, £200,000 was raised to:
purchase a site for the new boathouse in a corner of the Gloucester City market site at Hempsted Meadows,
gain planning permission for the whole development and
build a landing stage which made the site usable for one-off events e.g. regattas.
A new company, Gloucester Boathouse Ltd (GBL), was established in 2012 to take the project forward i.e. to build and run the new facility; GBL is a registered Charity.
Grants from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and British Rowing and donation of a small parcel of land by Gloucester City Council enabled the completion in early 2015 of necessary flood compensation, ground works (including piling for the new building), ramp to the towpath and landing stage and car parking spaces. This work cost about £310,000.
Grants from the Sport England Improvement Fund, the Summerfield Trust and British Canoeing, investments from Gloucester Rowing Club, Cheltenham Ladies College, Hartpury College and Gloucester City Council together with other donations and receipts from fund raising activities have allowed us to undertake the main boathouse build and ground floor fit out which has cost about £980,000.
The new facilities will be an enabler for increasing participation in rowing and canoeing both in the number of participants and the range of ages and abilities catered for. Our aim is to grow from 320 users making 28,000 visits per year to 1,100 users making 125,000 visits per year within 5 years.
The site first came into use when the landing stage was built in 2011. In 2015, the car park and boat ramp were built. The boathouse was partially completed in 2017. Each stage of the development has delivered new benefits for the rowing and canoeing community which have underlined the potential for the site once development has been completed.
The development is fully supported by British Rowing, British Canoeing, Sport England and Gloucester City Council.
Local business support
It would not have been possible to get so far with the boathouse development without the generosity of individuals and businesses making donations of money, time and materials. A full list of donors can be found on the Roll of Honour. Our biggest local business supporters to date have been:
RSL Highways and Transportation
The initial fit out of level 1 was made possible by:
Travis Perkins Builders Merchants
Mark Brazil Carpentry
George Bence Builders Merchants
Harris & Greaves Scaffolding
Salus Building Control
AM – PM Sign makers
We are also grateful to the Canal & River Trust (and its predecessor) for granting permission to build the landing stage and to cross their land to access it.