Centre in need of support

A WATERSPORTS training centre for young people is urging everyone to show their support and help to save it from closure.

The Water Activity Centre, based at Hartlepool Marina is run by not-for-profit organisation the West View Project.

The centre, which runs courses and training sessions for youngsters and last year welcomed more than 3,500 people through the doors, may be forced to close this autumn if it can’t bridge a £21,000 a year funding gap.

The centre used to receive money from the Government’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund but the scheme was scrapped causing the current financial pressures.

Staff are now urging sponsors and people in the town to get behind the centre and offer their support.

Chris Wise, West View Project Development Manager, said: “We have always run on a not-for-profit basis to make our activities as accessible as possible to young people from Hartlepool and the wider North-East area.

“The Water Activity Centre provides a very valuable service to youngsters both in terms of their personal development and not least in improving their water safety and we have received a lot of praise for our work.

“The scrapping of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund has been a considerable blow to us and we are doing everything we can to generate further revenue.

“This includes running family watersports fun days on weekdays during the summer. We could organise further courses on weekends if there is the demand.

“What we are really hoping for is for sponsors to come forward to help us secure our long-term future.

“They would have the satisfaction of backing a quality team which is playing an important part in developing the skills and confidence of young people of all ages and backgrounds.”

The West View Project has run the Water Activity Centre since 2005.

In that time it has offered, training, fun sessions and family activity days as well as canoeing and kayaking.

The centre also runs sailing and powerboat courses as a Royal Yachting Association training centre.

Anyone interested in offering their support can contact the West View Project on (01429) 272699 or email westviewproject@btinternet.com