The Mersey Gateway Project

Local rowing club receives expert help from Merseylink to upgrade clubhouse

March 11, 2016MerseylinkNews

A local rowing club has been able to replace its old clubhouse with a brand new building thanks to expert help from bridge builder Merseylink.

Runcorn Rowing Club had received a Sports Council grant to cover the cost of a new building, but the project was in danger of never getting off the ground as a large amount of costly building work was also needed to get it started.

Runcorn Rowing ClubMembers of Runcorn Rowing Club outside their new clubhouse

As a voluntary organisation with limited funds and expertise, the rowing club decided to apply to the Merseylink Time Bank scheme for help.

Keen to assist, Merseylink pulled together a specialist team of surveyors, ground engineers, and construction operatives to help get the Weaver Canal site ready for the new facility.

This involved clearing and surveying the land, testing for utilities, digging out foundations, waterproofing and damp proofing. The team then reused materials from the Mersey Gateway Project to create a foundation slab to support the new building.

The rowing club, which was established in 1894, has strong links with local schools in Halton as well as with Runcorn Canoe Club and Liverpool University Rowing Club. It has recently invested in an adaptive rowing scheme to enable disabled rowers to learn, train and compete.

Chris Wheatley, Captain of Runcorn Rowing Club, said: “This magnificent gift of time and expertise has enabled us to install our new clubhouse and teaching facility in time for our 2016 Spring Head event. The long-awaited new building will make an enormous contribution to our club and I would like to thank the Mersey Gateway Project for their generous contribution.”

Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skill’s Coordinator for Merseylink, said: “This is another great example of how our Time Bank scheme is benefiting the local community. By providing the specialist technical advice and labour that Runcorn Rowing Club so desperately needed, we have been able to ensure that the club can build on its success and continue to invest in exceptional training facilities for its members.”

Time Bank was set up to provide practical help and support to local community projects, schools, colleges and the local authority. It works by matching successful applicants with Merseylink’s industry experts and suppliers who give their ‘time’ to provide professional advice and support.

Around 24 local organisations have benefited from the scheme since it first launched in May 2014 with Merseylink providing the equivalent of approximately £57,000 worth of support.

For more information about the Time Bank scheme visit

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