Funding boost for Scottish watersports centre

THE finishing touches will be added to Scotland’s first purpose-built watersports centre at Pinkston in north Glasgow thanks to £450,000 announced by transport minister Keith Brown today.

Keith BrownMSP with Tom Brown (left) and Mark Mulrain (right) at Pinkston Paddlesports. Picture: PA

He also revealed a £500,000 grant towards a visitor centre at the new Kelpies canal hub near Falkirk.

The £3.25 million watersports centre is due to open in April in a disused canal basin at the end of the Glasgow branch of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

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The extra cash will pay for decking and landscaping, including a spectators’ area for its white water course.

Keith BrownMSP with Tom Brown (left) and Mark Mulrain (right) at Pinkston Paddlesports. Picture: PA

Work on the course, designed by London Olympics course creator Andy Laird, was completed today.

It features pumped water cascading over walls and blocks to create artificial rapids and fast moving currents for canoeists.

Slalom and water polo equipment will also be provided with the Scottish Government grant.

Martin Davidson, a trustee of Glasgow Watersports said: “Catering equally for elite athletes and those grabbing a paddle for the first time, the centre will encourage more people to get out on the water and help ensure that Scotland’s fantastic Olympic medal record in canoeing disciplines continues.”

Scottish Canals chief executive Steve Dunlop said: “By offering competition-grade facilities and coaching just a mile from Glasgow city centre and less than an hour’s drive away for over three million Scots, Pinkston Watersports will bring jobs and income to North Glasgow.”

The Kelpies canal hub is a new park where the Forth & Clyde canal meets the River Carron, whose landmark focus will be the 100ft (30m) high Kelpie sculptures designed by Andy Scott.

Mr Brown said: “This funding will go some considerable way to improving the visitor experience at both the Kelpies visitor centre and Pinkston Watersports.”