RNLI hits £500k fundraising total after just three years
PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 July 2016
Weston-super-Mare’s RNLI has reached a milestone half-a-million-pound figure after just three years of fundraising for a new lifeboat station.
The life-saving charity was forced to leave its base of 131 years in 2013 after Birnbeck Pier deteriorated to the point it had become unsafe for crews.
The RNLI urgently needed a new station, and a temporary one was built by Marine Lake.
It initially set out to raise £300,000 in three years, which was reached six months ahead of time, in an appeal supported by the Mercury.
In January 2015, it announced plans to apply for planning permission to build its new station on Madeira Cove, by Marine Lake. It also wanted to build a slipway at Anchor Head – an option which has now been ruled out.
Weston RNLI spokesman Glyn Hayes said: “We are re-evaluating our plan because we are worried about the risks of going along the promenade.
“We are looking at alternative options.”
Fundraising has continued, and volunteers celebrated this weekend after reaching £500,000 in three and a half years.
Weston’s crew saved more lives than any of the other coastal stations in the country in 2015.
Lifeboat operations manager Charlotte Conroy said: “This sum is superb. It has proved very difficult to find the right site for our station although things are now moving forward quite quickly.
“The RNLI is determined to find the right site as we are the busiest station on this coast and last year alone launched 48 times and saved at least 13 lives.”
The station is expected to cost more than £1million to build.
Fundraising chairman Pete Elmont said: “I am humbled and delighted this sum has been reached.
“It is all due to the efforts of our team plus the generosity of the people of Weston and I am very proud of them.”
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