July 9, 2014 | Community News
Visitors to a community sailing club in South Yorkshire now have a more comfortable view of the action on the water after a four figure grant from a renewable energy firm paid for new seating and shelters on the lakeshore.
Ulley Sailing Club has installed the new outside furniture on the patio of its clubhouse in Ulley Country Park, which is also used as an activity centre by local schools and other community groups.
One of the benches has been specially designed for use by any wheelchair users visiting to the centre, and the club committee has already had lots of feedback from visitors on how the seating has improved their experience of watching the boats.
A £2,500 grant for the purchase was provided by Banks Renewables from the community benefits fund linked to Banks’ nearby Penny Hill Wind Farm.
The Ulley Sailing Club is a recognised Royal Yachting Association training centre, and has around 180 individual members of all ages who are mostly drawn from the local community.
Its recent annual open day saw almost 100 people taking to the water for the first time to try their hands at sailing different kinds of craft, and Club trustee Dr Rosalie Hill is hoping that the improved onshore facilities will encourage even more people to give sailing a go.
She says: “We wanted to make things more comfortable for everyone watching from the shore, especially when the weather isn’t so good, and also to give parents with other children a more convenient and welcoming place from which to supervise them.
“The gazebo shelters are really easy to put up and take down, and they’re also portable enough for us to take with us to the various events in which we take part in schools and other community locations.
“Our aim is to help make sailing an accessible pastime for our community, and the number of people who came along to our open day shows the potential that we have to build our local membership, something which we hope this new equipment will support us in doing.
“We’ve had some really nice feedback from visitors about the improved seating we can now offer, and we’re very grateful to Banks Renewables for their generosity in funding this purchase.”
The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund will provide over £500,000 of community funding over the 25-year lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.
The fund is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and aims to make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in these areas.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Groups, adds: “Ulley Sailing Club involves people of all ages from right across the local area, and we’re pleased to be able to help such an active, inclusive and friendly community group.”
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Penny Hill Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 for further information.