HRH with pupils from Penryn College


Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened one of Cornwall’s’ most prestigious projects on Tuesday, 3 May.

Stithians Lake, near Redruth in West Cornwall, is the second largest inland water in the county and covers an area of some 274 acres. It attracts over 50,000 visits a year from watersports enthusiasts and anglers, as well as those interested in bird watching, camping and walking.

It is managed by one of the region’s largest environmental charities, South West Lakes Trust. The new £1 million angling and watersports centre provides state-of-the-art classrooms, information technology access, boat and equipment storage, clubroom and changing facilities and offers year-round watersports training facilities for members and courses for those wanting to learn.

The ambitious project received funding from Sport England, Objective One (European Regional Development Fund), The South West of England Regional Development Agency, South West Water, Cornwall County Council, Kerrier District Council and Falmouth College. It has also been supported by local clubs and businesses including Wendron Parish Council, Pennon Environmental Fund, Greenbank Falmouth Rowing Club, Imerys and Rural Economic Partnership Ltd.

Mark Drew, Senior Development Manager at Sport England, said "This scheme is a prime example of how our natural resources in the South West can be used to encourage people to increase physical activity during leisure time. Projects like the Stithians centre, with a huge variety of user groups, will clearly help showcase the benefits of an active lifestyle to all sectors of the community."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: “The fact that her Royal Highness Princess Anne performed the official opening of Stithians endorses the importance of this sports project. Objective One investment at Stithians Lake will be put to good use training people in new watersports skills. It will also help to ensure an already popular sporting facility can grow and attract more people."

Stephen Bohane, Head of Operations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the South West RDA said: ‘It is great to see the new water sports training centre at Stithians Lake up and running as it means that Cornwall will now have first class facilities dedicated to training qualified instructors which are such a vital part of South West England’s booming water sports sector.

“Having qualified instructors to teach water sports at venues throughout the region will help the sector to continue to thrive and make a valuable contribution to the local economy. The local training centre will also open up new opportunities for those wanting to stay in the county and get the necessary skills to enable them to make a living from the water sports sector."

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of South West Lakes Trust, Cairns Boston added, “We are Delighted HRH The Princess Royal is able to join us in this very important day for Stithians Lake, West Cornwall and the South West Lakes Trust. These wonderful new facilities are a testament to the efforts of many people over more than 20 years. It could not have been achieved without the efforts of staff and volunteers, an often unsung group of people who deserve our very sincere thanks.

As well as the direct employment it creates, the Lake brings over £1million to the local economy and supports many more local jobs. Stithians Lake has long been recognised as one of the natural jewels in West Cornwall’s crown and we now have the facilities to match these superb surroundings."

Jasmine Parker (aged 12) presented the Princess with a bouquet and Cornish Food Ltd provided a hamper of local produce for the Princess to sample.