Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grant Boost for Sail Club

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grant Boost for Sail Club

Article excerpt

A North-East yacht club is hoping for a new wave of young members after winning a pounds 400,000 grant under a scheme to renew coalfield areas.

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Sailing Club will use the money from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to expand its headquarters in the middle of the village.

New facilities including changing rooms and meeting rooms will allow the club to fulfil a long-held ambition to offer sailing lessons to local youngsters. The grant from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, along with money raised by the membership and funding from the Wansbeck Sustainable Communities Trust, has seen the club buy a piece of adjacent land next to its headquarters, the old Newbiggin Mechanics Institute.

Commodore David Futers said: "Our premises are from the 1960s and they're looking a bit old and tired.

"This will bring us into the 21st Century and we're hoping we'll now be able to attract a lot more young people into the sport. We're catering for the higher aspirations people have these days with what will be wonderful surroundings.

"The club has around 180 members but we're always working on attracting young people because they're the future of the club.

"We went through a period where we didn't engage with the youth as well as we should have and the membership was starting to get a lot older.

"This whole project has been going on for four years and the grant is the main cornerstone of that.

"We can engage now with schools and other youth organisations, get them to come in and go sailing with us and see if they like it.

"We want to get kids off the streets and get them involved in team working. Sailing will give them a lot of skills they can use in later life."

Suzi Patrick, of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: "Newbiggin- by-the-Sea Sailing Club is one of the first organisations to receive funding through our new Regenerate programme, which is aimed at helping young people in coalfield areas. …

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