Years of planning have finally paid off with the unveiling of a new state-of-the-art £1million rowing facility in Leeds.
Rowers from across the city will use the boathouse o the Aire and Calder Navigation next to Thwaite Mills in Stourton.
It includes a boat store for up to 50 boats, changing facilities, a meeting room and car parking.
Rob Wadsworth, head of sport and physical activity at the Leeds University, said: “We hope that this outstanding new facility will be of benefit not just to the university, but also to rowers across the city.
“Our ambitious sports strategy sets out our vision to offer the best sports experience for our students and the new boathouse is a fantastic addition to the university’s sporting facilities, significantly enhancing the experience of our student rowers.”
Before the boathouse opened, university rowers had to travel to York to train. Leeds Rowing Club has a base at Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park.
It is the first time since the 1980s, when a boathouse at Swillington closed its doors, that rowing has taken place on the Aire and Calder.
The boathouse was funded by the university, British Rowing, Sport England and WREN, which awards grants for community projects.
David Cottrell, vice chair of Leeds Rowing Club, said: “This project has been planned over many years and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many club members, partners and supporters who have been involved.
“In practical terms, the new boathouse will mean we are able to increase our membership threefold and bring the sport to many more people of all ages and abilities. It’s fantastic to think that this facility could help produce the next generation of stars for Team GB.”