Dover Rowing Club Moves Home

Image of Dover Sea Sports Centre

Dover Pride, the regeneration partnership for Dover, saw one of the key projects from its regeneration Masterplan come to fruition with the official opening of Dover Harbour Board’s  £2m Dover Sea Sports Centre on Thursday 10th June.

The Sea Sports Centre is funded by partners including Sport England, Dover Harbour Board, Kent County Council, Dover District Council, SEEDA, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Roger De Haan Trust, British Rowing, Dover Town Council, Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT, Crown Estate, Churchill Hotel, London Fancy Box Co Ltd and George Hammond PLC.

The opening of the Sea Sports Centre by Admiral Lord Boyce, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, will raise the profile of Dover not only as a centre of excellence for water sports but also as a town with exciting opportunities for development.

Speaking at the opening Bob Goldfield, Chief Executive, Dover Harbour Board, said: “Dover Sea Sports Centre provides a focal point both for water sports in Dover Harbour and for wider regeneration aspirations for the Waterfront as a whole. Dover Harbour Board is delighted to have been involved in providing a facility which develops water sports in the area, promotes education and skills and advocates the harbour as a thriving and valuable resource which we continue to improve for the community and visitors alike.”

Sport England has invested £720,000 of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in the Sea Sports Centre.  Hannah Bladen, Sport England’s Regional Lead for the South East, said, “The Dover Sea Sports Centre is now a beacon for water sports and a fantastic sporting destination for the local community. By bringing together state-of-the-art facilities and local sports clubs, the centre will be a welcoming place of users of all abilities and significantly contribute to the regeneration of Dover.”

Dover Sea Sports Centre is just one of many projects being developed in partnership in the 30 year regeneration Masterplan, that aims to transform Dover into one of the most prosperous coastal towns on the South Coast by 2035.  Already Europe’s busiest ferry port, Dover is a prime site for economic development and includes several key sites including the HCA’s historic Connaught Barracks, Whitfield expansion and White Cliffs Business Parks.  Most recently Dover received over £8 million of CABE funding for developing the Sea Front alongside the new Sea Sports centre as part of the wider regeneration plans.

Chairman of Dover Pride and Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration Kevin Lynes said: ” With its rich heritage and history, people often forget that Dover is more than just the busiest passenger port in the world. It is also a vibrant town, rich in heritage and full of unexplored gems, for people to enjoy. The new Sea Sports Centre adds new and exciting facilities for anyone who loves competing on the water, as well as a much-needed community hub which is clearly valued by local people.  
This is part of our vision for Dover to make it an even more attractive place for residents and visitors. We are giving the seafront a new look and the sea sports centre is at the heart of it.”

The Dover Sea Sports Centre will now be home to Dover Water Sports (a training facility for dinghy sailing, power boating, windsurfing and paddle sports) and Dover Rowing Club, who, said Chris Price, Press Officer “are confident that the new building and facilities will boost junior members who could be Olympians of the future”.

Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “We are very pleased to see the official opening of the Dover Sea Sports Centre. This is a key first stage of the waterfront development and yet another innovative partnership project, which will benefit the local community and help continue to move the district forward for an exciting future.”

Dover Life Guards will also make the Centre their home.