The Junior Rowing Academy programme at Leeds Rowing Club have purchased vital new equipment thanks to a grant from enfinium as part of its nearby Skelton Grange energy from waste project. A £50,000 Community Benefit Fund has been made available to community groups and organisations in Leeds during the construction phase of enfinium Skelton Grange, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.
Over the last 18 months, Leeds Rowing Club have been working to widen participation and diversity in rowing, especially at its junior level. The club has been working with schools across Leeds and Wakefield, introducing rowing to young people from non-traditional backgrounds – particularly those from disadvantaged areas.
This funding from enfinium has enabled the club to buy four sets of oars for a quad rowing boat. This will allow many young people to take part in a sport that would otherwise not be accessible to them. Those that are unable to swim will also be provided with swimming lessons as part of the club's development programme and junior rowers will have the opportunity to train for competitions that take place across the country and throughout the year, representing the city of Leeds at a national level.
David Cottrell at Leeds Rowing Club said: "We are extremely grateful to enfinium for awarding this grant to our club. Quad rowing is how most young people start their rowing journey, so it's an important area for us. Purchasing these new oars means we will now be able to help even more youngsters from across Leeds access our sport. We row past the enfinium Skelton Grange site, so this funding really is supporting the local community."
Chief Executive Officer at enfinium, Mike Maudsley, said: "We are already creating jobs and generating supply chain opportunities for local businesses - but we know that our commitment to Leeds goes further than this. We will always be a good neighbour to the communities in which we operate and are delighted to be supporting the great work that the Leeds Rowing Club do in getting young people engaged in the sport. We look forward to seeing how this grant – and the other grants we will be making over the coming months and years – makes a real difference."
Applications to enfinium's Community Benefit Fund are still open and will be accepted from organisations that directly benefit the communities neighbouring the facility's site. Organisations who are based outside of this area are also eligible to apply for grants, if they can prove how the award of funding will have a beneficial impact on these communities. Applications are welcomed from registered charities, schools, places of learning, not-for-profit companies, community organisations and groups – including those supported by public funding.
All applications must demonstrate that the project or event in question will either deliver environmental benefits (such as the promotion of clean energy, waste reduction and / or recycling improvements), improve standards of health, safety and wellbeing or enhance the wider community. This could mean promoting skills and educational development, environmental improvements or activity that helps boost community cohesion.