The Chester Community Watersports Centre is a project to redevelop an existing small boathouse for rowing and canoes into a fully inclusive centre of excellence for watersports on the banks of the River Dee in Chester.
The aim of the new Hub is to bring together, consolidate and build upon the talents of the individual clubs by means of shared expertise, skills, equipment and resources to create a sustainable community facility with the purpose to promote greater involvement for all to participate in watersports, including state schools who typically have very limited access to the river for sports or other activities.
The site itself is in a sensitive location within a conservation area, within a residential area and next to a major informal open space important for wildlife. This complexity made a relatively simple design project into a challenging negotiation between the various demands and tensions resulting from a wide range of stakeholder interests and the sensitivities of the environmental setting.
The accommodation provided includes a ground floor boathouse storage facility designed to Sport England Standards to accommodate Rowing 8s, canoes, kayaks and dragon boats as well as ancillary storage and drying facilities. On the first floor there are club social spaces, education space, gym for winter training and wet and dry changing facilities.