Cambridge boat clubs unveil plans for new training base on Ely’s Great Ouse

The new boathouse at Fore Mill Wash could look

The new boathouse at Fore Mill Wash could look - Credit: Archant

A GROUP of three renowned boat clubs are set to enter a joint application for a new boathouse and training facility on the outskirts of Ely.

Cambridge University Boat Club, Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club and Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club have purchased a site on the banks of the River Great Ouse.

The clubs are hoping to develop a new Cambridge University boathouse facility on the eastern edge of Ely at Fore Mill Wash, a site that measure more than 12 acres in size.

The new site is on the same side of the river as the current university boathouse but is much closer to the Adelaide Straight, on which the crews do most of their water training.

The group says that road access avoids central Ely and is as quick to reach from Cambridge, with easier access for towing vehicles and a boat trailer.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has been approached prior to the land purchase. The university team says the council is broadly supportive of the concept. A formal application is expected in the coming days.

Ewan Pearson, who is chairing the project, said: “Now that we own the land we look forward to developing this initial concept, which already includes a number of innovative, sustainable and environmentally sensitive features, into a real facility that can serve the university’s rowing clubs well for the next century and beyond.”

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Robin Waterer, Cambridge University Boat Club treasurer, said: “We have long been looking forward to a proper permanent base for our rowing activities.

“Occupation of the current boathouse site has been uncertain for some time and the short-term lease expires in 2016. The new boathouse will give us the chance to make a substantial improvement to our training facilities in Ely in keeping with the standards of excellence for which we strive.”