Hunstanton Sailing Club boosted by revamp

At the renovated Hunstanton Sailing Club are (from left) Evie Armstrong, Carol Clifton, Tim Starling, Mick Ford, Mack Armstrong, Peter Fox and John Fox. Picture: Ian Burt

A sailing club is appealing for up to £100,000 to enable it to finish all-important improvement works which it hopes will attract more visitors to a coastal resort.

Hunstanton Sailing Club. Picture: Ian Burt

Hunstanton Sailing Club has already benefited from investments totalling £350,000 from charities including the Big Lottery Fund and the Norfolk Community Foundation as part of a seafront masterplan to attract national events and competitions to the town.

It has already renovated the ground floor of its premises on the North Promenade with new showers, a bar and disabled facilities but still needs to complete the upstairs extension, which will include a balcony where people can watch events and fire exits.

The club, which held an open day to allow invited VIPs to tour the premises and talk to members about the future plans for the facility, hopes to complete the refurbishment over the winter so it is ready for the next summer season.

Two major national events are already lined up for 2014.

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Tom De Winton, a borough councillor for the area, said: 'Hunstanton Sailing Club was identified as a key opportunity in the Hunstanton Town Centre and Southern Seafront Masterplan.

'We believe that these improved facilities will help the club to attract national events and competitions to the area and bring many more people into the area, which will be great for businesses and the local economy.'

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Mick Ford, from the sailing club, said the regeneration was part of a seven-year plan to modernise the club and show it could help to bring business to the town.

'We will be demonstrating value for money from this regeneration process and more importantly bringing valuable revenue into the town throughout the year,' he said.

'Seven years ago we had a business plan that looked at how the club would become sustainable in the future and how to attract more people into the sport.

'If you've got 50 to 80 boats at a time at the club, it brings a lot of people in.

'This was an opportunity to bring the building up to modern standards.

'Those facilities make a big difference when you're trying to encourage people to come to Hunstanton.'

He added that the regeneration 'simply wouldn't have been possible' without the support of local councils, businesses and residents.

Funding for the first phase of the programme included £100,000 from West Norfolk Borough Council, £150,000 from the Rural Development Programme for England, £45,000 from The Big Lottery's Inspired Facilities, £40,000 from Norfolk County Council and £10,000 from the Norfolk Community Foundation.

The club has also made £20,000 from its own fundraising.

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