Berkshire

Sir Steve Redgrave backs fire-hit Marlow Rowing Club rebuild

Sir Steve Redgrave in Sydney 2000
Image caption Sir Steve Redgrave won his fifth successive Olympic gold medal at Sydney 2000

The rowing club where Sir Steve Redgrave started his career is to rebuild its boathouse after a fire.

Six months on from the devastating blaze, Marlow Rowing Club, on the Berkshire side of the River Thames, has raised £150,000 towards rebuilding the facility.

Five-time Olympic champion, Sir Steve has lent his support and is hoping to help secure Lottery funding.

The club's insurer paid out £400,000, but about £1m is needed in total.

The fire last August, which investigators concluded was not suspicious or started deliberately, destroyed half of the boathouse and a number of rowing boats.

'Iconic building'

Following the blaze, Sir Steve, who is a life member and vice-president of the club, offered to help the rebuild in any way he could.

An architect is drawing up plans to create a brand new "iconic" boathouse.

The club, which has been using the other half of the boathouse in the meantime, is also hoping to secure the freehold for the land in the near future.

Image caption Half of the boathouse was destroyed in the fire last year

Club chairman Pete Hunt, said: "We have done very well so far to raise what we have and to secure the insurance money.

"Sir Steve is helping us a lot... and we are fairly confident that something good will come out of this.

"We are satisfied there was nothing the club could have done to prevent the fire and that it was caused by outside influence.

"Our plan is to raze the current boathouse to the ground and a build a new iconic building for Marlow.

"We've been here for 100 years and want to be here in another 100 years."

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