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Rowers gather to celebrate start of work on a new boathouse for the University of Cambridge rowing clubs

A photograph of the Cambridge Boathouse turf cutting ceremony

Morgan Sindall plc has celebrated the start of work on a £2.8 million project to build a new rowing boathouse for the University of Cambridge in Ely.

Over 100 alumni, alumnae and rowers from the University of Cambridge marked the start of work on the scheme with a traditional turf cutting ceremony held jointly by Morgan Sindall and the three University rowing clubs.

The fundraising to enable construction on the scheme to begin has been underway for the last eight years and is a combined venture between Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC), Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club (CUWBC) and Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club (CULRC). The development has received fundraising support from hundreds of Cambridge alumni/alumnae and from the University.

Ewan Pearson, a Cambridge Blue and Chairman of the project for the three boat clubs, said: “We are delighted to have selected Morgan Sindall to construct this boathouse; it will bring our three clubs together under one roof for the first time. We have now reached the final stage in the development of new and world-class facilities for the scholar-athletes from the three clubs that row for the University against Oxford in the annual Boat Races; these facilities will greatly help us to boost our competitiveness."

Work is already underway on the 48-week development which will provide the University with a four-bay, two-storey boathouse to house up to 50 rowing boats. The building will be completed in October 2016 and will include a kitchen area, crew and coaches rooms, and two large changing rooms with shower facilities. The new boathouse will feature brickwork cladding and a distinctive zinc covered roof.

The project features high architectural standards for its innovative design and layout.

The Morgan Sindall project team will also complete some external landscaping to the surrounding gated area, including a car park.

Bob Ensch, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re very pleased to be starting work on this important scheme which means so much to both current and former rowers. The boathouse has an important role to play as the hub and heart of the crews’ activities. These are athletes of the highest calibre and the boathouse has been designed to provide future generations of Cambridge rowers with a great base from which to train for the next 100 years.

“The project will be completed in October 2016, so the three rowing squads will be able to start using the site from the beginning of their academic year as they start their preparation for the 2017 boat races.”

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