UKSA, a charity that uses sailing and watersports as a catalyst to transform young people’s lives, has received planning permission to upgrade its facilities in Cowes.  It will now be able to start planning the build of flexible, modular, modern accommodation to be able to meet future needs for all our students. “This will improve our efficiency and the experience of all our students during their stay here”, commented Ben Willows, UKSA CEO.

This ambitious Capital Investment Programme was launched last year at Trinity House, where our Patron, the Princess Royal, said:  “It is so important that the site is improved; it’s an opportunity to help make the difference to young lives.”  The following campaign Patrons have made early commitments enabling us to fast-track fundraising efforts: Whirlwind Charitable Trust, North Sails, Oakley Capital, Lister Charitable Trust and Ocean Family Foundations.

The capital programme will take place over the next three to four years. This plan will rationalise and remodel the facilities, while providing more sports and community opportunities for local people.

Disused local Youth Centre & Sports Hall to be re-opened

The first milestone in the delivery of the programme is the renovation of the disused Cowes Youth Centre & Sports Hall. This facility will be developed by UKSA and be made available for use by our students and the local Island community.

New accommodation & training facility

The aim for the next stage of the programme is to begin the construction of the new accommodation and training facility in winter 2019. “The new facility is expected to cost £3.5 million.  We are making steady progress towards achieving this goal, including raising £850,000 in grants and commitments towards the programme before planning permission was secured. Now that planning permission is confirmed, we hope to accelerate our fundraising efforts further”, explains Ben.

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