West Boathouse to Receive £1 Million for Redevelopment

West Boathouse to Receive £1 Million for Redevelopment

TRANSFORMING a historic boathouse will open up the River Clyde to all Glaswegians.

That was the claim from the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, after they received £1.37m to rejuvenate the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green.

The facility, home to the Clydesdale and Clyde Amateur Rowing Clubs, will be redeveloped from a semi-detached building into a fully shared space by 2020.

Work, which will see new changing facilities, lift access, multi-use spaces and a floating pontoon installed, is expected to begin next year, with the project costing £2.7m in total.

Andrew McConnell, Project Development Officer, said: “When people hear ‘rowing club in Glasgow’ they’ll generally be thinking posh toffs.

“What’s going on here is the realisation that the river is totally underused. That river corridor is an amazing thing to have right in the city centre.

“It’s not just about the elites, it’s about getting people out on the river to enjoy its recreational benefits. There is a pressure to train and compete but it’s about broadening the interest.”

A host of well-known faces have used the boathouse since it was built in 1905.

Those include Clyde Amateur Rowing Club’s Penny Brothers, who dominated rowing in the city in the 1920s and 30s, and Gorbals man Gordon Simpson, who won a BBC Unsung Hero award as well as gongs for his lifetime service to sport.

More recently users include three-time world champion Peter Haining and Rotterdam 2016 world champion Imogen Walsh.

Dame Katherine Grainger took her first ever seat in a boat at the West Boathouse while Sydney 2000 silver medallist Gillian Lindsay started her career at the facility.

Rio 2016 silver medallists Karen Bennett and Polly Swann were also members of the Clydesdale and Clyde clubs respectively.

Eva Bolander, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, said: “Glasgow is proud of its rich built heritage and the river from which so much wealth and pride has flowed.

“It’s fantastic news that National Lottery players, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, are supporting this unique project to reconnect communities with the Clyde.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added: “With the European Rowing Championships coming to Scotland for the first time in its history in eight weeks’ time, the popularity of the sport is on the increase.

“We’re delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, a building which has great sporting heritage and associations with Glasgow 2018 Ambassador Karen Bennett and Dame Katherine Grainger will be able to open its doors to local people and allow them to enjoy the river on their doorstep.”

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust will spend the next year developing the proposals and raising funds before starting work in 2019.

The organisation’s chair, John Entwistle, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have re-confirmed their long-standing support for this project – from their initial Start-Up Grant to the rowing clubs in 2015, through funding the project development and now this final grant award.”

Both the Clydesdale and Clyde clubs will host an open session today (Saturday, June 2) between 10am and 12pm for people to learn about the project.

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Source: The Evening Times

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