A sad day for dinghy sailing in the UK. Loss of a well known great family club..
I bring you very sad news about the future of our Club.
In 2008 the Club signed a lease which means we now pay £160,000 a year for the use of our facilities. The Club has lost money every year since. A rent of £160,000 a year is untenable for a members sailing club, unheard of within the sailing world. Queen Mary is probably the most comparable club to us pays some £20,000 a year. The only reason we have been able to continue is down to the reserves of the Club and the goodwill of the membership, both of which I believe are exhausted.
This year’s fall-off in membership renewals forced us to approach the landlord, Bewl Water Boating Ltd. to renegotiate the level of rent the Club has to pay.
The membership renewals looked initially strong and in-line with last year’s figures, more people renewed early. However it became apparent we had many fewer latecomers renewing. This in turn caused a revised view of the targets for training this year.
We have already paid the landlord some £39,943 in the first 3 months of this year, this is as much as any other inland club the RYA could give us figures for pays in an entire year. Our request was for a rent-free period and to renegotiate the rent in-line with a level the Club could bear moving forward. On Thursday 18th of June we received the outcome of these discussions and not only has the landlord refused any movement but in addition they have rescinded a longstanding agreement for us to pay our rent monthly.
The landlord has presented us with an invoice for the next 3 months as per the terms or our original lease. This becomes payable Wednesday 24th of June making the club unable to pay its debts as they fall due.