Following years of flooding and riverbank erosion, the kayak launch at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuit Centre is at risk of collapsing into the river. Used by up to 10,000 people per year, this facility is supporting the development of paddle sports. This facility provides the access point for individuals, families, schools and a variety of community clubs to get onto and off the River Soar in Leicester.
The proposed project would involve placing pilings into the river, back-filling the space behind, adding a new concrete launch area and access from high ground down onto the launch area.
This would future-proof this important facility, which is used every day that we are open. The Centre now attracts visitors and users from across the UK and we anticipate demand on this facility to grow in the months and years ahead. This makes it really important to carry out this reconstruction sooner rather than later.
What we'll deliver:
- Safer and easier access onto the water
- Safer and easier egress from the water
- Protect the kayak launch site from river erosion
- Support greater disabled access to paddle-sport activities
Why it's a great idea:
Providing opportunities for adventurous, challenging outdoor activity experiences is what we do. Our aim is to stimulate, educate and motivate people to get involved, regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity or demographic background. We offer opportunity for everyone to participate at affordable prices.
Improving access onto the river will ensure that we can continue to provide the facility to the community, support health and well-being, as well as enhancing our role as caretakers for the river environment.
Through the Canal & Rivers Trust (CRT) LOPC has adopted approximately 2 miles of the River Soar. We have an active team of volunteers who help maintain this section of the river, with regular litter-picks conducted not only from the banks but also in canoes on the water. Reconstruction of the kayak launch would support continued provision of this activity.
Steps to get it done:
- Engineering drawings & plans for the kayak launch
- Contractor agreed to complete work
- Piling in to secure riverbank
- Construction of new kayak launch
- Tidy of groundwork
- Grand Opening of new kayak launch
Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre is a 15-acre site with multiple adventure activities, both on land and on water. We provide fantastic facilities to be enjoyed by all ages over five years old. Participants can get involved on the High Ropes Course, Target-sports such as Archery and Air Rifles, Bush-craft Activities or a range of water based paddle sports. Assuring the safe and continued use of the kayak launch (which is central to everything that goes on) would impact positively on our whole offer to the community. Paddle-sport activities offer both an individual challenge as well as the opportunity to foster teamwork in pairs or in groups. Measuring confidence, determination and resilience, the project does not discriminate, it encourages the whole community.
LOPC is already aligned with Scouting groups, Navy Cadets, two paddle clubs, a road cycling club, a dog training club and an air rifle club among its regular users, demonstrating its significance as a community asset.