Home Secretary The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP for Hasting and Rye opened new facilities at Rye Harbour Sailing Club (RHSC) on July 1, following a major fund-raising effort and building programme at the club.
By cutting the ribbon at the formal opening ceremony, Amber Rudd ushered in a new chapter so that the club can now focus on providing sailing to a more diverse section of the local and wider community.
When RHSC acquired funding for the project through a Sport England Inspired Facilities grant Amber Rudd endorsed the project saying: “I’m really pleased Sport England has invested in Rye Harbour Sailing Club. This region has a great maritime heritage and I hope these new facilities will encourage many more people to join the club and take to the water.”
Club Commodore Caroline Wylson takes up the story: “The club then went all out to raise the rest of the funds needed for the new facilities. We had a bumper Auction of Donations in 2016 which raised over £3,300 and the rest was made up from tireless fund raising events and endless application-form filling!”
As a result the club received funding from the following sources:
Sport England £75,000
Rother District Council Community Grants £30,000
Icklesham Parish Council £1,000
Rye Town Council £2,500
The Rye Fund £1,000
Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm Fund £2,500
Private donation through Sussex Community Foundation £2,000
RHSC cash resources £35,500
Caroline continues: “Our project was to build new changing rooms that would provide facilities for less abled people as well as up-to-date facilities to attract schools and other younger people to take part in sailing. RHSC Sailability, a charity, will be working with RHSC to get less abled people out on the water. Our aim is to become a sailing venue with facilities to provide accessible sailing for all.”
Work began on January 3 and was completed on time on May 8. The old boat storage shed was demolished, foundations laid and a building of block construction erected. Cladding gave a great finish to the fabulous new changing rooms. Included in the build are facilities and access for less-abled people.
Caroline concludes: “It was a delight to welcome Amber Rudd to open the new facilities – a very enjoyable occasion with some 60 people attending. After the formal reception the barbecue was fired up and a jazz band played into the late afternoon.
“I am delighted and grateful for the hard work and the support that RHSC has received for this project from club members, members of the public, local businesses, the local media and all those organisations who have chosen to support us by way of funding. The club now has a viable and sustainable future ahead where we can increase local participation in the sport of sailing and get as many people as possible out on the water.”
RYA (Royal Yachting Association) regional development officer Steve Mitchell says: “Sam Rowe [RYA sailing development officer] and I were pleased to be able to support the funding process and offer the club help to achieve this great outcome. The club has come a remarkable distance in a relatively short period of time and the result of the hard work is now very visible both in the new facility development and in the re-energised activity that now exists in the club.
“RHSC is a great example of a club that has worked hard to make a step change in their club development to revitalise their presence as a family friendly local sailing club.”
For more information about RHSC visit http://www.rhsc.org.uk/
Photos: John MInter