The top of the Rapids
Original Aims agreed with the BCU
The original approach to the on-going ownership of the rapids agreed with the BCU and then ratified by the BCU Council were:
- The British Canoe Union as the governing body of the sport to purchase the site.
- Management was to be by a local team made up of BCU, non-BCU and others.
- If sufficient funding is achieved over and above the purchase price an independent charity or similar organisation is to be set up to own and manage the facility free of charge and for the benefit of the public at large.
Unfortunately achieving all these aims as originally envisaged proved impossible. Despite a lot of effort by everyone it was looking very unlikely that sufficient funds could ever be raised for Symonds Yat Rapids to exist as a Charitable Trust in its own right. Even using enthusiastic volunteers the ongoing costs of insuring, maintaining and managing the rapids were always going to exceed the Trust's income, especially with the Trust's commitment to free use of the Rapids (its only asset) for informal recreational paddling by BCU and non-BCU members alike.
Creation of a Nationwide Chartiable Trust
The alternative way forward agreed with the BCU was for a Chartiable or Limited Charity for Access and Facilities to be created whose purposes would include the ownership of BCU owned and leased facilities (such as Symonds Yat Rapids) nationwide. At all major BCU sites there would be a need for a local action group such as SYRPG who would have a say in their own site and in the charity's general management.
Access has always been under funded at the BCU. By actively pursuing its River Access Campaign and with the extra funding available as a result of canoeing being identified as one of the 10 priority sports by Sports England the BCU is hoping that this perception by the canoeing public at large will change.
BCU Commitment to Symonds Yat Rapids
The BCU has no plans and is actively planning and budgeting for informal recreational paddling to remain free for both BCU and non BCU members alike at Symonds Yat Rapids. This does not however include for formal "occupation" of the site, for example for Coaching, Competition, Commerical Events or similar and possibly even angling...
The BCU are committed to keeping SYRPG as the local action group for Symonds Yat Rapids fully informed on the progress of the creation of the Charity and to consult them with a view to SYRPG providing at least one trustee.