Training centre saved from closure

A WATERSPORTS training centre that helped thousands of young people learn new skills last year has been saved from the brink of closure.

The Water Activity Centre, which is based at Hartlepool Marina and is run by not-for-profit organisation the West View Project, looked likely to close this autumn if bosses could not fill a £21,000-a-year funding gap.

The centre runs training courses and activity sessions for young people aged eight to 18 from schools, colleges and youth groups and last year welcomed over 3,500 people through its doors.

It came under major financial pressure after the Government scrapped the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, from which it received money.

Now the project has turned the watersports centre’s fortunes around after substantial savings have been made by moving out of its rented premises on Navigation Point.

Hartlepool Marina management has lent a helping hand by giving the project the use of a secure storage area for watersports equipment and the use of waterside changing facilities.

It means it will be able to continue to run a range of water-based activity sessions, including canoeing and kayaking both as fun sessions and as set programmes leading to national qualifications, as well as sailing and powerboating courses.

Chris Wise, West View Project development manager, said: “We are delighted to have been able to find a way to continue to provide our watersports activities. The changes which we have made have put our water-based activities on a much firmer footing and we are now looking to the future with considerable confidence and excitement.”

Allan Henderson, director of Hartlepool Marina, added: “We have worked together with the West View Project for many years and were only too happy to help out.”