Scullers in race to buy land
11:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in Latest News
The Wiltshire Scullers rowing club is hoping to expand by buying fields in Staverton to build a clubhouse and boat storage.
The club is a registered charity and wants enthusiastic locals to invest in land for the scheme, which could include a cycle path to make it safer for people to cycle to Bradford on Avon.
The club feels its new base would be a useful resource for the community.
Wiltshire Scullers chairman Donal Casey said: “We are hoping to secure a freehold of four acres at Staverton. We are moving things on a week-to-week basis, we have been working in the background and this is a big opportunity.”
Wiltshire Scullers, whose members have competed at Henley Royal Regatta and won a national championships bronze medal, are currently based at Michael Blake’s Staverton racing yard.
Mr Casey said: “At the moment, we have open storage, meaning the boats won’t last long, and we are 100 metres from the water, creating difficult access.
“We are hoping the new clubhouse will change this and provide us with the opportunity to take on more people.”
The land they want to buy lies between the road causeway across the River Avon floodplain and the river, stretching up to Forwood Common.
Mr Casey wants to include a public cycle route between Staverton and Bradford, alongside the road, into the scheme. He has discussed the idea of the route then linking to a a development planned at Kingston Farm, off Holt Road, Bradford, with the people behind that scheme.
“Bradford on Avon has two big developments coming up and there is an opportunity to push for a cycle path.
“It will cost a lot of money, but, in terms of community benefit, it is achievable,” he said. The club aims to encourage children to take up the sport, using local Olympic gold medallist Ed McKeever as an inspiration, and so far has bought rowing ergometers for St Laurence, St Augustine’s and Clarendon schools.
Mr Casey said: “Sport should be part of life. Having a local success is inspirational and we hope to produce someone that emulates Ed’s success.”
To help with the project contact wiltshirescullers @gmail.com