Support » Support Archive » Expressions of support 2

Below, in a slideshow format are just some of the comments, letters and emails of support we have received for the Bedford Rowing Lake project.

The County Council has a vibrant vision for Bedfordshire. In principle the County Members want to see substantial “Olympic” and associated preparation activity taking place in Bedfordshire over the next few years and I for one would like to see this venture, among others, succeed.

Rhys GoodwinConservative Councillor for Toddington

I would like to add my support to this rare opportunity to add something of great worth to the citizens of Bedfordshire, whether rowers specifically or people interested in their environment more generally.

Simon White

This is a fantastic opportunity to create a first class rowing facility that will have lasting benefits for generations to come. Historically rowing has played an important role in our town, the Willington Rowing Lake would ensure it has an even greater future.

Cllr Peter Hand

I am the Bedfordshire County Council Executive Member for Cultural Services, a diverse new Portfolio which includes sport and the Countryside Access Service. I am also a Bedford Borough Councillor, resident in Bedford and lived for 10 years in Cople, close to Willington.

I am delighted to support publicly Willington Rowing Lake , which will enhance our world class reputation for producing Olympic standard rowers in Bedford. Bedfordshire County Council are strongly promoting this project as a wonderful asset for the 2013 Olympics.

Bedfordshire County Council is actively supporting this project by submitting a bid to the ODPM for £200k under the Growth Area Funding Round 2. Tim Malynn, our Director of Environment, also promoted Willington Rowing Lake last week at the East of England launch of the Big Lottery Fund.

Lynne FaulknerConservative County & Borough Councillor Executive Member for Cultural Services

Dear Sir

I note that on February 13th the Planning Officers of Bedfordshire County Council will make a decision on whether to support the Bedford Rowing Lake project.

Three of us in my family are keen rowers and we strongly support the Rowing Lake Project. Bedford has a long rowing history and consistently produces an impressive array of national and international oarsmen and women.

The River Ouse, with its twists, turns and several bridges is far from being ideal as a training and racing course. It is frequently crowded with boats, in competition with the anglers, who have just as much right to use the river as us rowers. The strong currents and rapidly changing water levels throughout the winter period considerably reduce the safety levels a number of times to a point where rowing has to be suspended.

If, in due course, the Grand Union Canal link comes to fruition, with all its undoubted benefits to leisure and commerce in Bedford, then the increased motorboat traffic will have a considerable impact on the rowing community, with little room for crews to pass.

The Rowing Lake project will not only solve all these problems at a stroke (no pun intended) but will provide such enhanced facilities in a superb and natural environment that Bedford cannot help but become an internationally known centre for rowing and other watersports. But not only that – the Lake Project will also provide a multitude of other facilities and opportunities for leisure activities for Bedford and the surrounding communities and a much needed habitat and haven for wildlife.

I urge everyone involved in the planning and decision-making process to grasp this exciting opportunity and make sure Bedford gets the full benefit from Bedford Rowing Lake.

Dick PeakeStar Rowing Club member

I am writing to let you know of my strong support for Bedford Rowing Lake. There is a clear need for a world class facility that will elevate the region’s status in the sport and complement the facilities and reputation of Bedford Athletic Club.

Bedford’s premier asset is it’s stunning river location and it seems not just logical but essential to build on this asset, as well as to provide a sporting facility for local residents and UK sportsmen and women.

I sincerely hope that this project will go ahead, and that we can all look forward to a new jewel in Bedford’s crown.

Elizabeth S Clark

To everyone concerned

I should like to support the rowing lake project wholeheartedly. Bedford needs a facility like this to ‘put it on the map’.

The town and county should never forget all the POSITIVE national publicity they have received over more than the last ten years from the sport of rowing.

If this project does not succeed the town will have missed a golden opportunity to have a very special facility for ALL the community.

Sylvia Gillard

Dear Sir

Having read the proposals on the website I would like to lend my full support to the rowing lake project. I am not a rower but live locally in Great Barford and feel the area is desperately short of attractive open space. A facility like this would give an ideal venue for dog walkers with small children, like myself, to enjoy open space away from the perils of village traffic and the land at present as an open quarry is unattractive and of no benefit to any member of the community.

Sally HaworthGreat Barford

Having experienced and observed first hand the value of a lake, not only as a water sports facility, but as a social focal centre and as an environmentally friendly green area, the chance of having one in any community is unmissible.

It would provide for many sports, improving the quality of life for all inspired to take up rowing, sailing, canoeing, water skiing and all the possible sports provided for by a simple body of water. This would be in line with the UK’s sports drive, it would attract young people to worthwhile activities, giving the focus, ambition and drive. The next national champion or olympic medalist could be growing up in the Bedford area and only needs the opportunity to shine to realise their full potential. Of course the use of the area may not be li limited to water sports, a simple path surrounding the lake could be ideal for walkers, runners, cyclists, fishermen,the opportunities are endless.

The centres that would spring up around the lake, the rowing clubs, boat houses and even bird watching clubs would create a sense of community, of belonging, which in turn could only be good for the area. These organisations would take pride in the running and maintenance of their facility and create a thing of envy for any district.

The habitats created by a lake, the water itself, the green banks and associated plant life would allow many species of wildlife to flourish in saftey. The sight of a neat, clean lake is calming, relaxing and often inspiring generating happiness through nothing but a view.

I urge the people involved in the making of this decision to carefully consider their options. To weigh up the multitude of potential developments and advantages included with a lake against any other mundane options with limited scope and low inherant community value.

Give something back to the people, let them give themselves something back to those who need it.

Chris WilsonLegal AssistantNabarro Nathanson

As a local businesswoman, whose son has the advantage of, and recently become passionately involved with rowing, I have become aware of how much this Sport can do for young adolescents – often proving to be the saving grace for those who, perhaps through their physique, (the very small and the tall and lanky) – do not easily fit into the mould of Football and Rugby players.

This opportunity should be available for more teenagers, and not be limited by space on the River, or the school attended.

Further, with innovative thought, it can attract a wide variety of business and income to Bedford and the surrounding area, so that Bedford ceases to be “that place that you pass through” on the way to London or Milton Keynes! – and in the process provide a beautiful environment. .

Pauline Wilkes FitzpatrickWilkes & Co