Norfolk Ski Club at Trowse in Norwich, England has been given £686,000 funding by Sport England towards a major £1.3m development programme. Local government grants and Club fund raising is covering the remainder of the cost.
The development is planned to provide a second ski slope, an extension to the existing Nursery Slope area, renewal of the existing Nursery Slope in a carpet matting to provide a safer environment for those learning to ski and snowboard, a Kindergarten slope, new lifts in the form of the latest Travelators (escalators for ski slopes) and an extension to the Clubhouse which will almost double the size of the current building.
Councillor Jane Mackie, portfolio holder for Culture and Learning, South Norfolk Council said: "South Norfolk Council is thrilled for Norfolk Ski Club. They have worked long and hard for this and I am glad we have helped them achieve this successful bid.
"The club has always emphasised a commitment to young people, with a strong youth development programme, which can now be enhanced with the new facilities. This will help to raise the profile of our area and hopefully will result in more young people, like South Norfolk resident 'TJ' Baldwin - an International children's skiing champion - developing to national and international standard. We were especially pleased to see that the new plans will encourage disabled skiers in particular to participate."
Club Chairman and Director Barry Spouge was overjoyed at the final outcome of what had been for him 5 years of preparing and making presentations to potential funders, dealing with planners, landowners, architects and suppliers of specialist services.
"The fact that we are able to provide such a facility is that we operate on a voluntary basis with only a handful of employees for example, our Junior Club is the envy of many, with around 250 children aged from 5 to 16 attending every Saturday, while our Racing Team and Junior Club have provided champions in the past and we currently have five members in the British Children's Ski Team."
Norfolk Ski Club is a facility owned and run by its members. Formed in1973 at Wensum Lodge on a slope of plastic 50ft long, it then moved outside into the car park at Wensum Lodge a year later. At that time the club had a membership of 31.
In 1975 permission was gained to use the present site in Whitlingham Lane , Trowse where the slope became 150ft (45m) in length and had a clubhouse which was a prefabricated asbestos building. The present clubhouse was opened in 1991 ands the club currently has in excess of 4000 members.