Taunton’s exciting new Water Sports Centre has had a welcome wave of financial support thanks to the recent visit from double Olympic rowing champion, James Cracknell organised in conjunction with Rebecca Pow, Prospective Conservative MP for Taunton Deane. COACH, the charity set up to develop the centre and spear headed by David Bullock and Ian Payne are now in advanced discussions to secure the outstanding funding. James Cracknell’s support was a key, says organiser Ian Payne.
"James’ visit really helped to put this worthwhile project on the radar and this week Taunton Deane Scrutiny Committee unanimously agreed to approve a crucial £200,000 of our funding. With this support, together with £25,000 from the Bishop Fox fund and other money in the pipe line from Canoe England we are excited to announce that we’ve now progressed to the interview stage with Sport England that should unlock the final £500,000 we need to make the centre a reality. It’s been a long road but it finally looks like we are reaching our destination.’"
James, who is hoping to be elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South West in the forthcoming European elections rowed down the river Tone to the site of the proposed Water Centre in French Weir Park with Rebecca Pow and crack rowers from Taunton rowing club and is delighted at the news: "I was so pleased to come to Taunton and do my bit to drive forward this excellent project. I met so many young people on the riverbank who are desperate for the Water Sports Centre to go ahead – it was inspirational and the charity organising it are absolutely on the right track. I am looking forward to visiting again as the project progresses."
Rebecca Pow is equally overjoyed at the progress being made: "Once the Sport England funding is secured it will be all systems go and work could potentially begin on the site in French Weir Park beside the River Tone in the autumn. James Cracknell was a huge hit and I think people have realised what great benefits this project will bring to the centre of Taunton."