Portobello Sailing and Kayak Club (PSKC) are paddling towards a £155,000 fundraising target to create a permanent water sports hub after being awarded £77,625 from sportscotland.

The new facility will allow the club to offer more and better opportunities for participation in the local community, particularly for young people from disadvantaged areas, women and girls, and people with additional support needs.

The Promenade-based club offers members use of sailing dinghies, kayaks and St Ayles rowing skiffs, and the charity offers training and facilities to encourage people to participate in water sports.

The club is one of 11 projects across Scotland to share more than £900,000 of investment in the latest round of awards from sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund. This investment is made possible thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.

David Crawley, Chair of PSKC, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the funding award which has made a significant contribution to our overall funding target. The development of a water sport hub will be the realisation of a long-held vision, and reward for the considerable effort that past and present trustees of the club have put into making this vision a reality.

On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank both sportscotland and all those members of the public who buy lottery tickets; without their support, the creation of a water sports hub to serve the wide and varied needs of our local community would have been all the more challenging.”

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Mairi Gougeon, said: “This latest investment from sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund will help make a real impact in communities across Scotland. Over the last year we have seen the vital role sport and physical activity has played in supporting our communities to stay connected and be more active.

 “I’m pleased to hear that more projects are benefitting from this latest round of funding which will support local projects to ensure more diverse and inclusive opportunities are available in communities whilst increasing access to sport for all.”

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It is fantastic to see the ambition and commitment from the people behind these projects who are working together to improve the lives of their local communities. We know that sport and physical activity can play a part in Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19. Facilities like these will not only allow more people to participate but can also provide a place for communities to come together and support one another as we work our way out of these challenging times.”

Since April 2007, sportscotland has invested over £192 million of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding to help sports clubs, community groups, local authorities, sport’s governing bodies and other organisations deliver new and upgraded sporting facilities across the country.