Portsmouth City Council's in-house Building Maintenance team, working closely with Culture, Leisure & Regulatory Services, has completed the refurbishment of the Portsmouth Watersports Centre. The centre offers community sailing programmes for children across Portsmouth run by the Andrew Simpson Foundation.
Portsmouth City Council are responsible for maintaining the building which is located next to Langstone Harbour. Having carried out an extensive survey it was decided that, in order to increase the building's lifespan and keep it operationally safe, upgrades were needed.
The building, which has a striking external timber frame, was restored and decorated whilst maintaining its original features. Further improvement works were carried out around walkways, entrance ramps and balconies. Mechanical and electrical refurbishments were also conducted during the health and safety repair stage. The overall upgrade of the building will now ensure that the facilities' ongoing repair costs are greatly reduced.
Work on the centre began at the start of the year and took around 20 weeks to complete. The council worked closely with delivery partners Mountjoy to complete the project whilst the centre remained open for business throughout.
The Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Pitt, said: "This major refurbishment project, as well as the installation 50 kWp of solar panels on the building in 2018, demonstrates our commit to Andrew Simpson Foundation. Investing in Portsmouth's leisure outlets, like the watersports centre, will allow residents to access state of the art facilities long into the future.
The not-for-profit foundation, which aims to transform the lives of young people through sailing, offers free or heavily subsidised activities for children. Activities include sailing, paddle-boarding or kayaking and help to promote team-working and problem solving.
Titch Blachford from the Andrew Simpson Foundation said: "Right from the front door the standards are set. Whether you're returning to learn more about sailing or starting out for the first time, everyone feels comfortable that they are about to enjoy a unique and life changing experience"
The recent upgrades will allow the busy centre to thrive whilst the foundation continues to work with the youth community in Portsmouth. Residents will now be able to benefit from the upgraded centre, whether sailing, making lasting friendships or developing new skills.