Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sailing School

Following the sudden notice of an October withdrawal of EL from running the Sailing School there has been a great deal of support expressed to keep the school at Port Edgar. Despite the very considerable representations made to the contrary, the decision is firm (based on largely financial considerations) and will not be reversed. In the light of all the support and the need to keep the school running, Terry Kirchin and Ian Hards individually saw the need to do something about it and both have worked since the announcement. Following their discussions with EL, the Council, RYA and several funding bodies they are keen to generate a community trust to oversee the sailing school’s continued and profitable existence.
However, the situation in which Terry and Ian find themselves is far from well-defined. There are many variables including the change of marina management next year, the value of the assets, staffing, the availability of funds, etc. Moreover, against this background there has been a recent notice of commercial interest in running the school. Meetings on that front are taking place, almost daily, to ascertain the viability of such proposals.
Should the community trust option prove to be preferred, funding is a vital and immediate need along with the generation of a business plan and a route map to the school’s future.
So, what is the next move?
A press release is being prepared with the aim of soliciting more support especially to be demonstrated by seeking contributions to an appeal. The response to such an appeal would not only provide funds but also would show funding bodies the extent of local support and commitment to a community trust.
In addition to funding, more expertise and effort is required to drive the initiative forward. Volunteers are required to aid the promotion, publicity, fund-raising etc. for the trust.
For my part I will attempt to keep you updated on progress being made in keeping the school at Port Edgar. I ask you to consider how best you can assist the community trust effort and let me know how you would like to help and I will pass that on.
Lastly, please be generous as and when the Public Appeal is floated as, I am sure you will agree, training new boaters is not only necessary but beneficial to us all.