RYA heralds Pwllheli investment boost
Funding boost for new Academy and events centre in North Wales
The Royal Yachting Association has applauded an £8million investment by the Welsh Assembly Government into the development of a National Sailing Academy and major events centre at Pwllheli, North Wales.
Pwllheli Sailing Club - already one of the RYA's four world class events hubs in the UK alongside the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, Largs Sailing Club and Hayling Island Sailing Club - will benefit from £8.3m of Welsh Assembly Government backing from the European Regional Development Fund and the Targeted Match Fund.
The new centre will not only enhance Pwllheli's status as a nationally and internationally renowned sailing venue, but will also provide opportunities for novice sailors, encourage more people to learn outdoor activity skills and be a resource for the wider community.
Gwynedd Council's plans for the facility include a new Academy building to provide changing rooms, meeting and training rooms, lecture rooms and a restaurant and bar and the final design could incorporate a balcony so that people can watch the activities on the water. The proposal also includes additional berths which will help attract more national and international competitions to the area.
"This is a significant announcement and adds another World Class facility to the UK-wide network the RYA has been developing over recent years in order to ensure that high level national and international sailing events and training can take place around the UK, as well as boosting sailing opportunities at a local level," said RYA CEO Sarah Treseder.
"It will provide a tangible legacy for the sport following the 2012 Olympic cycle and will contribute significantly to the local economy. "It's great news for Pwllheli, the Welsh Yachting Association, the RYA, and UK sailing in general."
Major events to have been staged at Pwllheli in recent years include the Mirror World Championships and the Cadet World Championships, the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships, the Welsh National Championships as well as numerous National Championships for RYA Pathway Classes.
Stephen Tudor, Pwllheli Sailing Club's Secretary, said: "The Sailing Club has been very successful in attracting national and international sailing competitions. There is no doubt that this provides a huge boost to the local economy as people from all over the world come here to sail, and they also see what else the area has to offer.
"The current facilities are unsuitable and insufficient compared to other sailing clubs and venues, so we are over the moon to see these plans for a sailing academy and events centre taking fruition. This will secure our place in the competitive outdoor activities market, and also means we can attract ever more significant events."