Work is underway on a new £4 million scheme which will ensure homes and businesses in Shoreham are protected from flooding while creating a new community HQ for one of the country’s oldest sailing clubs.

Adur District Council has been working closely with Sussex Yacht Club for a number of years to develop a creative way to plug the hole in the flood defences on the banks of the river Adur.

The multimillion pound scheme has seen the Council – with the support of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and Environment Agency – buy a strip of land off the yacht club, who will use these funds to build a new fully-accessible clubhouse adjacent to the current building.

The Council will then build a new flood wall, as well as creating pedestrian and cycling facilities along the south side of the main A259 coast road, before demolishing the existing clubhouse.

At a ceremony to mark the start of work on the major development this week, Council leaders said they were delighted to see the progress.

Adur DC leader Neil Parkin speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Sussex Yacht Club HQ

Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “After many months of hard work, I’m pleased to see work start on this fantastic new facility for Sussex Yacht Club.

“The wider project, which has involved extensive commitment from a number of key partners, will deliver big benefits to the whole town – most importantly, creating cycling and walking routes on the river side of the A259 while plugging the gap in flood defences which, in turn, will bring increased investment into Shoreham.”

Representatives of the Council, Coast to Capital and the Environment Agency joined Sussex Yacht Club and the charity Sussex Sailability at the launch.

The project will see the creation of a new £4.2 million clubhouse and facilities just 14 metres from the current home by June 2020.

Thanks to support from Adur DC, Environment Agency and COast to Capital Sussex Yacht Club is creating a new HQ

Those involved with the club, which was founded in 1892 and is one of the oldest in the UK, wanted to ensure that the new facilities would be fully accessible to everyone.

Terry Kinch, the Commodore of Sussex Yacht Club said: “When we heard that we were going to have to move to enable the flood defences to be built, we saw this as a massive opportunity. It has allowed us to completely rethink what we need from the ground up; to get everything right.

“So, we’ve worked closely with the membership of Sussex Sailability, the charity Changing Rooms and specialist architects to design a building that would allow us to provide the very best possible sailing experience in the UK for disabled sailors.

“We want this to be a development that the people of Shoreham are proud of and we are looking forward to welcoming the community in to enjoy what we have on offer here.”

Jonathan Sharrock, the Chief Executive of Coast to Capital said: “We contributed £3.5 million Local Growth Funding towards the Western Harbour Arm which has been identified as a major area for regeneration. We are pleased that, as part of the wider scheme, the Yacht Club has benefitted from the improvement works and will be delighted to see progress as the project continues.”

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