Weston RNLI 'delighted' as new lifeboat plans progress
PUBLISHED: 07:23 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:59 08 November 2018
Weston RNLI believes its plans to convert a restaurant into a new lifeboat station is progressing well.
It is six months since the Mercury revealed the lifesaving charity’s ambition to open a station at the Cove, by Marine Lake.
In the spring there were concerns over legal hurdles, but the RNLI says its plans are ‘beginning to take shape’.
John Deas, head of external construction and refit at the RNLI, said: “We’re delighted that plans for the conversion of the Cove into the new lifeboat station are progressing.”
Weston RNLI wants to convert the building so as to provide an area for visitors, along with storage room, changing facilities, offices and a training centre.
The charity has been without a permanent home since leaving Birnbeck Pier.
The dilapidated walkway was considered too dangerous for crews to use in 2013.
A temporary base near Knightstone Causeway has been used in recent years to ensure public safety is maintained.
Weston RNLI began searching for a suitable location to move to back in 2007. Over the years, 14 locations have been considered.
In April, the RNLI said the Crazy Hills golf course was a secondary option, but this week it revealed the Cove idea was coming together well.
Five years ago Weston RNLI began trying to raise £300,000 to pay for the new lifeboat station, but donations have now topped £660,000.
Mr Deas added: “North Somerset Council has agreed to extend our current lease on the area of the promenade land at Marine Lake Plaza.
“This means we can continue to store, and launch and recover the lifeboats from here while we gain the necessary consents and go through the process to convert the Cove into a lifeboat station.
“In the meantime we will focus our efforts on moving our volunteer crew and officials out of the temporary accommodation they have been in for four years as soon as possible and into a dry, warm building with appropriate changing, training and meeting facilities.”