Sussex Yacht Club has begun work on its new clubhouse and amenities in Shoreham, with a helping hand from the Leader of Adur District Council.

The new construction will mean Shoreham will become the home of one of the UK’s best disabled sailing facilities, whilst enabling the building of flood defences to protect the town.

Councillor Neil Parkin, David Smith of Coast to Capital and the Area Director of the Environment Agency James Humphrys joined Sussex Yacht Club and the charity Sussex Sailability to celebrate the launch of the building works to create a new £4.2 million clubhouse and facilities; which will be completed by June 2020.

Adur District Council bought the existing clubhouse, which will be demolished, to enable the construction of flood defences to protect homes and businesses in Shoreham-by-Sea. It is part of a larger regeneration project for the town that includes a harbour view cycle path and a new pedestrian walkway.

Knowing that they would need to rebuild their HQ, the membership of the Yacht Club wanted to ensure that the new facilities would be fully accessible to everyone.  Terry Kinch, the Commodore of Sussex Yacht Club said: “We are proud to have had Sussex Sailability, a charity that enables people with disabilities to sail, based at our club since 2001.

“We had made every possible adaption to allow sailors with disabilities as much independence as we could, but retro-fitting an old building has its limitations.  So, when we heard that we were going to have to move to enable the flood defences to be built, we saw this as a massive opportunity. It has allowed us to completely rethink what we need from the ground up; to get everything right.

“So, we have worked closely with the membership of Sussex Sailability, the charity Changing Rooms and specialist architects to design a building that would allow us to provide the very best possible sailing experience in the UK for disabled sailors.

Chris Hodge, the Chairman of Sussex Sailability said: “It is exciting to think that Shoreham will be the location for this flagship development; leading the way in enabling everyone to have full, independent access to sailing. It is a really positive approach for Sussex Yacht Club to take and I hope that their focus on accessibility will encourage many more people who live with disabilities to try the sport and to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water.”

Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said, “After many months of hard work, I’m pleased to see work start on this fantastic new facility for Sussex Yacht Club.

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