A NEW £375,000 landmark development for Pershore’s Riverside Centre was unveiled during a prestigious opening ceremony.
Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin teamed up with Junior Kayak Champion Emma Witherford to cut the ribbon on the venue’s new activity centre.
The unveiling marked the completion of two years of hard work and fund-raising which has seen volunteers collect the cash needed to bring their dreams to life.
The main funding came from Sport England Inspired Facilities Lottery funding, British Canoeing, Severn Waste Services and Wychavon District Council.
Other supporters and funders have been Pershore Rotary, The Clothworkers Foundation, The Bernard Sunley Foundation, Asda Pershore and the charities own fund-raising events which were supported by local residents and businesses.
Based on the banks of the River Avon, the new centre will allow volunteers to further enhance their efforts to provide Pershore’s young people with new skills on the water.
Canoeing, Kayaking, Bell Boating will all be taught thanks to the new development while the skills needed to make a splash on stand up paddleboards will also feature.
There is safe flat water by the centre and some moving water close by on the local weirs, and volunteers now have plans to build a specialist water course which will make Pershore a destination site for paddlesports.
As well as welcoming Mrs Baldwin, staff were also delighted to meet Emma Witherford who has just returned from the World Championships in Canada having started her kayaking career at the centre.
Coun Liz Tucker, the Chair of the charity said: “The centre already works with hundreds of young people through the year and they will all benefit from the new building and activities.
“Importantly, the not for profit income that the new activities hope to generate will help the charity towards a more sustainable future.
“We would like to thank all our supporters and people that have helped us to where we are today.
“Please help us promote the centre – any time people book a room, birthday party, or activity, all the funds goes straight back to the charity, enabling the specialist youth support and youth activities,” she added.
Mrs Baldwin said: “I was delighted to join the celebrations at Pershore Riverside Centre last week. “It has already delivered a world champion and is a great example of how an excellent team of local trustees have transformed the potential of this wonderful resource,” she added.
Residents have the chance to find out more about what the centre has to offer with an open day at the centre next Saturday (October 31) from midday to 2pm.
Displays from the kayakers and professional scooter team, as well as face-painting and a chance to have a look at the new building will all be part of a packed programme of events.
Visit www.pershoreriversidecentre.org for more information about the centre.