Monday, 27 September 2021

Boat club needs cash for new base

GORING Gap Boat Club is appealing for more donations towards a new riverside headquarters.

The club, which organises the annual Goring and Streatley Regatta, was awarded planning permission for the building three years ago and had hoped it would be completed by last summer.

However, the work has not yet started because it has taken longer than expected to install an access road to the site, which is off the A329 on the southern bank of the Thames by Gatehampton railway bridge.

There were delays in agreeing the finer details of the work with West Berkshire Council, the highways authority.

The club then had to reach private agreements with two landowners whose land the road will cross.

Those negotiations are almost finished but in the meantime the cost of the project has risen from £250,000 to £275,000.

Sport England has pledged a £75,000 grant but this could be withdrawn if the club cannot find the shortfall by May.

The club, which is currently based at temporary premises off Hardwick Road,
Whitchurch, is now urging supporters to donate either £100, £250 or £500 in return for being named on a plaque when the boathouse opens.

It has so far raised about £10,000, which the Gatehampton Trust, of Goring, is matching.

The club also plans to host a series of events in the village over the summer, including a sponsored rowing challenge on ergos and a ball. Further details will be announced nearer the time.

Co-chairwoman Lorraine Rogers said: “Building the access road is quite a short, simple process but getting permission has been complex and we can’t get any plant down there until it’s done.

“There is now agreement between all the parties concerned so it’s really just a case of chasing signatures.

“Considering how long it has been, our builders have done their best to hold the original quote.

“However, many of the individual project costs like steel have increased so it is going to cost more than anticipated.

“For the first time ever, we’re asking our membership for support directly and they’ve been very generous.

“We’ve also had offers of loans but are not keen as there’s no prospect of paying it off in the near future.

“We are feeling the pressure because of the deadline for Sport England’s grant but I’m confident that we will get the money we need.”

Anyone who can help should email chairman@

l This year’s Goring and Streatley Regatta will take place on Saturday, July 22.

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