The RYA is to build a multi-purpose facility in Portland, which the RYA says will be the hub of UK performance sailing in the lead up to and during the 2012 Olympic Games and an investment in the long-term future of the sport.
Located at the new £30 million Castle Court development in Portland – ‘RYA Portland House’ will provide purpose built accommodation and conference facilities for the RYA in one of the primary training and event locations in the UK.
It will also provide a distinct competitive advantage for the British sailors in both the run up to and during the 2012 Olympic Games, as John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Director explains: 'Previous Games successes have shown that having a bespoke base has been a significant factor in team morale and performance and for those involved in the Olympic programme it is strongly believed that having a secure base is one of the cornerstones of medal results success.'
Despite more immediate use being earmarked for 2012 Olympic preparations, it’s not only the elite sailors that will benefit from this great new facility. Class associations, RYA personal members, members of affiliated clubs, as well as berth holder associations and Sailability will all have access to the facility for events, meetings, conferences; training and competition activities.
'We see this venture as a great opportunity for the RYA to be instrumental in providing a performance advantage for our potential Olympic sailors on home ground in 2012, and to provide excellent facilities that will offer a lasting legacy for sailing in the UK,' concluded RYA Chief Executive Rod Carr.
Work on RYA Portland House is anticipated to be completed by September 2009.
The Castle Court development will occur on eight acres (3.2 hectares) of land next to Portland Castle. The land is owned by The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA)., who acquired the site after the Royal Naval Air Station closed in 1999 with the loss of 800 jobs.
The new Castle Court development will feature shops, restaurants, apartments and a hotel and could create 600 jobs on the site, the SWRDA says.