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Thames Young Mariners Plan Upgrade

02 Aug 2023

Surrey County Council have announced ambitious redevelopment plans for the Thames Young Mariners outdoor centre located alongside the banks of the River Thames in Richmond, south west London. Established over 60 years ago, this 25-acre site includes a 10-acre lake offering canoeing , paddle boarding,  sailing and raft building activities. Thames Young Mariners is surrounded by 200 acres of public open space, which has been designated as a local nature reserve. 

The scheme would see the existing outdoor learning buildings at the centre on Riverside Drive, run by Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD), demolished and replaced with five modern buildings. The plans include a new main building with a kitchen, toilets, changing space and replacement staff accommodation, along with new residential blocks and outdoor activity equipment.

A planning statement submitted to Richmond Council, stated that it will "deliver sustainable, fit-for-purpose buildings which will enable SOLD to continue operating in the long-term".

It says Thames Young Mariners "requires redeveloping in order to bring the site up to the current health and safety standards with modern, fit-for-purpose facilities, which would allow SOLD to increase its service capacity and strengthen its commercial operation for SCC.....The proposed development will enable SOLD to continue providing an important element of social infrastructure to support schools, colleges, community groups and families with outdoor learning and education within Richmond, whilst also supporting Surrey and other London boroughs...The development will also allow SOLD to extend their residential offering to a year-round basis, rather than a current summer seasonal offer, enhancing the variety of facilities SOLD can offer to the community."

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