Plans for a new water sports centre in Barnstaple have been given a boost thanks to a grant from Sport England.

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club has plans to renovate the derelict Fuller building on Rolle Quay. Picture: BPGCBarnstaple Pilot Gig Club has plans to renovate the derelict Fuller building on Rolle Quay. Picture: BPGC

The public body has promised £75,000 to Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club, which intends to purchase a former warehouse in Rolle Quay for the project.

The grant follows on from a £34,000 promise from Fullabrook CLC, and £26,000 raised by the club’s Off the R’owd appeal, which has seen them hold fundraising events each month.

The club requires a further £65,000 to reach the purchase price for the building. The club’s goal is to reach that in early 2019, with the centre opening in the summer.

Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club chairman Kevin Ward said: “We are very grateful for all the support given to this project by local businesses and the general public in the Barnstaple area that has allowed us to achieve so much in such a short time.

“It is the club’s aspiration that the facility will welcome other water sports users, and encourage creation and growth of other clubs, and individual users to create a vibrant water sports culture in Barnstaple.

“Thank you to all who have already supported our aims. Our fundraising team continue to organise fund-raising events and I ask for everyone to support those events so Barnstaple will benefit from this project.”

When complete, the centre will have a secure boat shed and workshop on the ground floor, as well as storage for boats and trailers. The first floor will have a large meeting area, as well as a kitchenette and toilets.

The proposal has drawn interest from a number of groups across the region, from other water sports clubs to scout groups and schools.

You can donate to Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club’s fundraising efforts by visiting their Just Giving page.