With the boathouse ready to use, we’re keen to see boats back on Southmere Lake just as soon as possible. We’re looking for a new organisation to make this happen, following the news that YMCA Thames Gateway is no longer able to run the boatclub. We understand the difficulties that YMCA Thames Gateway, like so many other organisations, are facing due to tough economic times and we fully respect their decision to step away.
We’re also sorry to see YMCA Thames Gateway leave the Lakeside Centre. We know that Bow Arts is actively looking for a new organisation to operate from the building, and we’ll be supporting them in their search.
Here is the YMCA’s statement:
YMCA Thames Gateway Group has had to make the difficult decision not to move forward with the boathouse project on Southmere Lake. Conversations regarding the opening of the boathouse started with Peabody – the owners of the new building – before the COVID pandemic. The position of YMCA Thames Gateway Group has changed significantly since then. Like many businesses, we were severely impacted by the pandemic and, as such, have had to reprioritise our areas of work. For this reason, we have also taken the very tough decision to close the Y on the Lake café at the Lakeside Centre. The last day of trading at the café will be Friday 21 July.
Peabody will now be looking for a new provider to run the boathouse, while Bow Arts, who manage the Lakeside Centre, will be looking for a new organisation to operate from the building. We’re grateful to both organisations for their understanding of our decision and their support.
We will keep you updated on how things progress.