Help us keep community access to the Windermere lakeside
Published 12:23 on 21 May 2023
Update: Over 1,340 people have signed our petition "Keep the Windermere lakeside for the community", on paper and online via Change.org. The support we have received was sent to YMCA Fylde Coast on May 31, the closing date of offers for YMCA North Camp. We have been assured that the list of signatures and the letters of support will be shared with the YMCA Fylde Coast Board of Trustees as they consider the offers. We do not know the timeline for decisions but will certainly provide updates when we can.
The site known as YMCA North Camp on Windermere has been put up for sale by YMCA Fylde Coast with the aim to invest in the southern end of the site. While we wish to support YMCA, we are dismayed by the potential that yet another stretch of the Windermere lakefront may be turned over to private development such as holiday lodges or private residence with the loss of the current and potential community access.
We support the mission of YMCA, and particularly YMCA Lakeside, in providing vital outdoor education for young people. We believe that BOTH YMCA's desired investment into South Camp, and strengthened community facilities on North Camp is achievable.
Currently the North Camp site is home to:
- the South Windermere Sailing Club a family-friendly RYA-affiliated community providing safe and fun access to sailing for people of all ages
- The Old School Kitchen not only a delicious café, but a service preparing and delivering hot meals to local schools
- Lakes Laser Tag fun, zero impact, action game played outside in the fresh air by all ages from age 6
- LakeSUP offering the public paddleboard hire and tuition
- Freshwater Biological Association all about protecting the health of our freshwater ecosystems (including Windermere!)
We support purchase offers for North Camp that:
- will allow the existing organisations to maintain their services and community outreach;
- promote the current public footpath through and around the site and plans of the Lake District National Park;
- permit continued use for sailing, paddleboarding, canoeing, etc.;
- minimize development that would harm the natural environment; and
- provide continued collaboration with YMCA Lakeside for the benefit of all.
We know that at least one offer has been made to purchase North Camp that will not only offer existing organisations to stay, but improve community facilities and provide mutual benefits to YMCA Lakeside operating at South Camp. So this is possible!
"Best Value" does not always equal "Best Price" and we encourage the board of YMCA Fylde Coast to consider the wider longer-term value of the offers in respect of achieving the mission for YMCA Lakeside.
Offers are being submitted now, with a deadline of May 31, to purchase YMCA North Camp. By signing our petition, you can show both YMCA Fylde Coast and potential purchasers how much the community supports the YMCA mission and is concerned about the prospective development, and what hopes the community has for the future use of the North Camp site.
Show your support for community-centred development at YMCA North Camp
We support YMCA North Camp offers that will help make YMCA Lakeside more sustainable into the future while continuing to protect community access to the Windermere lakefront. This includes offers that keep the existing tenants and the North Camp site for the benefit of the wider community.
Sign the petition at https://chng.it/djQwkFNs
Last updated 12:10 on 14 November 2023