A SAILING club has been awarded £41,500 to build a gangway and pontoon to allow safe access into the water.

Burwain Sailing Club, in Reedymoor Lane, Foulridge, has been awarded the money from Inspired Facilities, part of Sport England, for a 15-metre long gangway which will be connected to a 15-metre pontoon.

The club, which has 120 members applied for the grant a year ago, say- ing the current access into the water when the level is low, by vertical iron ladders, is not safe enough for children, the elderly and disabled.

Permission is expected to be granted from The Canals and Rivers Trust in the coming weeks and work is hoped to be completed by early June.

Peter Norcliffe, training centre principal for the club, said the new access to the lake would be of huge benefit.

He said: “It has been a long process getting the money but it’s fantastic that it has now been awarded.

“We applied for the money because the current access to the water is not as safe as it could be, especially for children, the elderly and disabled.

“At the moment we have vertical iron ladders. The problem that we have is that the reservoir is fed from the canal so during the summer months in particular the reservoir level drops, which means we need to use the vertical ladders to get into the boats.

“All the money from the award will be put towards the gangway and pontoon as it is an expensive project. It will be quite a feat of engineering, weighing a couple of tonnes.

“The new gangway and pontoon will hopefully make it a lot easier and safer for people using the sailing club.”

The club meets on Wednesday evenings, Sat- urday afternoons and Sunday afternoons as well as holding a Sailfish club for seven to 15-year-olds on Friday eve- nings.

The club currently has spaces for new members. Anyone wishing to join should call the club on 01282 863493.