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Gig club launches application for new Barnstaple water sports centre

PUBLISHED: 14:06 05 April 2018

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club members are hoping to move into a new renovated building if planning is successful. Picture: BPGC

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club members are hoping to move into a new renovated building if planning is successful. Picture: BPGC

Archant

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club (BPGC) has been working hard to raise money for its ‘Off the Row’d’ campaign to purchase the Fuller building and create a water sports centre on Rolle Quay.

Before and after: How the proposed new Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club building and water sports centre will appear. Picture: BPGC Before and after: How the proposed new Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club building and water sports centre will appear. Picture: BPGC

The club has so far raised around £15,000 or its £250,000 target which will be used to buy the building by the sea cadet headquarters and renovate it.

A planning application has been submitted to turn the bottom floor of the building into a workshop and storage place for the gig boats. The top floor will be transformed into an open plan meeting area with toilets and a board room.

The Fuller building, also known as the Warehouse, is situated at the end of the quay by the slipway leading into the river Yeo and is currently semi-derelict.

It is being used by North Devon Flooring to store materials but an application has been submitted to switch the ownership, starting in January 2019.

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club members on the River Taw. Picture: BPGC Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club members on the River Taw. Picture: BPGC

David Dixon, vice chairman of BPGC said: “We currently have a temporary base but we have to roll our gigs through the town centre to get to Castle Quay to launch.

“It not only holds up traffic but it could potentially be dangerous so we really want to be able to secure the Fuller building so we can launch the gigs into river Yeo.”

The club was founded in 2010 by a small group of water sport enthusiasts and has since grown to have more than 100 members of all ages, including juniors.

David added: “We want to restore the maritime heritage.

The new building will give Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club easy access to a slipway. Picture: BPGC The new building will give Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club easy access to a slipway. Picture: BPGC

“The Quay and the rivers have a long history and it’s been neglected in recent years. We hope to renovate and become the spark that regenerates the quay and hopefully turn it into a thriving sports area.”

The club plans to offer the building out to any organisations that need a meeting area when it isn’t being used.

A race night is due to take place at Barnstaple Rugby Club this Friday (April 13) to raise more money to go towards the campaign.

For more information or to get involved with the fundraising go to the BPGC website http://barnstaplepilotgigclub.co.uk .

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