British Sailing Team reveals cutting-edge performance centre plans
Flagship centre to be built at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
The British Sailing Team has unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art training base at its home in Dorset to build upon Britain’s legacy as the top Olympic sailing nation.
The new Performance and Innovation Centre will bring together sailors, coaches, and support staff in one location designed to promote collaboration and innovation.
Built within the grounds of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), it will build on the legacy of London 2012, pushing performance boundaries and inspiring the next generation of British sailors and grassroots participation.
It is also a long-term commitment to Weymouth and Portland, one of the best places in the world to sail and the spiritual home of the British Sailing Team.
The centre will replace the British Sailing Team’s current leased units at Portland Marina, which have been its base for more than a decade. The British Sailing Team has led the way in its pioneering support of Olympic sailors for decades and the new planned Performance and Innovation Centre marks the next step in that journey.
The project is currently fundraising and will be largely funded by private patronage, with contributions from UK Sport and the RYA.
Mark Robinson, RYA Performance Director, said: “For the British Sailing Team to continue its dominance in an increasingly challenging funding, competitive and regulatory environment it must double down on its strengths which are its intellectual capability and retained knowledge, depth of fleet and available sailing conditions in Weymouth and Portland.
“We now have an opportunity to create a legacy for the British Sailing Team as well as reaffirm the team's commitment to a home in Weymouth.
“This project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that our Olympic gold medal aspirants are afforded the greatest possible chance of success and will set up our programme to do so for decades to come.”
Safeguarding the legacy
The new performance centre will help maintain that legacy for future generations of aspiring athletes and will be used to help inspire and support the development of sailors in the British Youth Sailing pathway.
Furthermore, it has been designed with sustainability in mind, while its facilities will reduce the need for international travel.
David Griffith, Chair of Directors at WPNSA, said: “WPNSA is proud to be considered the home of the British Sailing Team. Bringing the Performance and Innovation Centre onto our site will support our mission to inspire the next generation of sailors both recreational and competitive.
“Forging ever closer links with our RYA partners will drive operational and financial benefits for both organisations and secure the legacy promises made as a 2012 host venue.”
The plans for the Performance and Innovation Centre have broad support from the Portland Parish Council and have been submitted to Dorset County Council and can be viewed on its planning portal.
If approved, building will start in spring 2024 with a view to the centre being opened in summer 2025, subject to sufficient funding being secured, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the RYA.