British Canoeing and its charity partner, the Canoe Foundation, have today announced a funding pot of up to £100,000 to support projects that create better access to water for recreational users and projects that protect the paddling environment.
During 2020, paddlesport has seen an incredible uplift in interest, with British Canoeing membership rising by 25,000 to over 62,000. Sales of new boats and equipment have soared, with a considerable rise being attributed to stand up paddleboarding.
With thousands more people taking to the water during this summer, many locations around the country have been put under increasing pressure, specifically creating challenges with parking and physical access to the water.
The support fund announced today aims to provide grants to local community organisations, clubs, parish councils and local authorities with an interest in facilitating paddlesport activity, in order to help alleviate some of the pressure that has been placed on launch sites around the UK.
In recognition of this increase in activity, the Canoe Foundation, together with a contribution from British Canoeing, is making this additional cash investment available now to fund applications with a strong case and plans for implementing these.
The Canoe Foundation itself is keen to maintain its focus on increasing and protecting public access points to water for recreational users and the creation of sustainable launching and landing sites, to and alongside water, for all sectors of the community and abilities.
The charity is also keen to support projects that protecting and enhance the natural environment.
David Belbin, Trustee of the Canoe Foundation said:
We are really pleased to be able to make this funding available to a whole range of potential recipients. We are keen to lend support to local communities for the provision of sustainable and accessible places for people to access the water– David Belbin, Trustee of the Canoe Foundation
The types of projects that will be considered might include new launch and landing platforms, steps or ramps; improvements to pathways and accessible routes to the water’s edge as well as signage and information that promotes positive behaviour.
Grants from £500-£10,000 will be made available, with applications being received via the online application form between 5 November and 28 February.
Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager at British Canoeing said:
“It has been phenomenal seeing the rise in participation in paddlesport, during what has been a hugely challenging time for us all. Paddlesport is such a great way to stay active, to enjoy the natural world and importantly stay healthy.
But clearly paddlers need places to access the water and so it was important for British Canoeing and the Canoe Foundation to make this funding available, to help local communities create sustainable, welcoming places to paddle.– Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager
Applications need to be received by 28 February 2021 to be considered. The fund is open to applicants from across the UK.
Full details of the funding can be found on the Canoe Foundation website: https://www.canoefoundation.org.uk/online-funding-applications/