The ceremony was attended by the leader of the Liberal Democrats and local MP Tim Farron and the chairman of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) David Williamson.

The improvements, which entailed building an extension in matching Lakeland stone, was enabled with grants from Sport England, Cumbria Community Foundation, the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Lake District National Park as well as donations from members and visitors. The facilities were built to cope with the occasional winter flooding that the club has suffered over the years.

The sailing season at Coniston has just started and members are looking forward to welcoming members of the public to have a taste of sailing during the annual RYA Push The Boat Out event on May 13.

Among those at the official opening were two families who have youngsters making names for themselves on the national sailing scene. Tom Burke (13) was introduced to the sport at PTBO in 2014. "He loved it straight away, says his dad Paul. He got hold of a Pico dinghy, and ideal starter, but as he outgrew it, Tom save up and bought a second hand Laser dinghy. Then he went to the RYA Zone Championships, using a club Feva.

His performance at the event led to membership of the Zone Squad meaning he received training at squad sessions during the winter. He then put his money into buying a Feva of his own and keeping it in top shape. He is planning on competing at at least one world event this year.

In the Feva, Tom has been sailing with another youngster from Coniston, Max Rawlinson (8). Max's father Colin is also a sailor so he started crewing for dad when he was five and still does in craft that have become increasingly high performance ones. At the same time, Max has been solo sailing a Tera dinghy and is on the Tera Zone squad as well as the Feva Squad with Tom.

The Club is also planning informal events for the coming season and will be inviting keelboat owners from around the North West and the Irish Sea to join them for racing events and hopefully a regatta in due course.