Royal Albert Dock Trust (RADT), a charity set up to provide facilities for those who do not have them, owns London Regatta Centre. The charity funds the teaching of rowing to local children from some of the poorest boroughs in the country, and people with disabilities from a much wider area.
London Regatta Centre, designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, was opened by HRH the Princess Royal in March 2000. It was awarded ‘Sports Building of the Year’ by both RIBA and the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust.
The building was part of a circa £17.45 million capital-only scheme funded by Sports Lottery, English Partnerships, Foundation for Sport and The Arts, London Region Sports Council and many other smaller grants and donations. The scheme included lengthening the Royal Albert Dock by moving the North Circular Road some 200 metres to the east, to provide a 2,000 metre international standard rowing course.
As part of the funding for RADT (no revenue funding was provided) the Regatta Centre has a gym/fitness club and rowing tank. The “Robin Hood” ethic of allowing those who can afford membership of the club to fund the local children’s water-sport is beginning to take shape, but the Trust still requires a great deal of charitable donation and / or sponsorship to continue its good works. The centre also houses a first-class Chinese restaurant, Yi Ban, which contributes a large part of RADT’s income in rent.
From Memorandum and Articles of Association:
“The exclusively charitable objects for which the Company is established are the organisation and provision (either alone or in conjunction with other bodies charitable or otherwise) of facilities for water related and other physical recreation at the Royal Albert Dock, London (and/or elsewhere in the United Kingdom) for the public benefit in the interests of social welfare with the object of improving the condition of life of persons who by reason of their youth and/or social and/or economic circumstances have need of such facilities.”