OUTDOOR activity charity, The Anderton Centre activity charity has unveiled a new pontoon which will be used for all its water sports.

The centre, part of the University of Bolton group, is popular with Bolton schoolchildren and youth groups, providing residential stays in Rivington.

Support from the St James Place Charitable Foundation and the Royal Yachting Association has enabled the centre, north of Bolton, to buy the new £10,000 floating platform.

The former pontoon had been in place for over 15 years and had fallen into disrepair.

It is the access point for all water-based activities at the Anderton Centre, including sailing, paddle sports, and improvised rafting.

Lancashire Outdoor Activities Initiative, the charity that runs the Anderton Centre, also contributed to the total cost.

The centre’s Chief Executive Officer, David Germain, said that closures and restrictions over the past 18 months meant that they had not able to self-fund a new pontoon.

David said: “We are so grateful for the grant support received from St James’s Place and the RYA Foundation to make this project possible.

“The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging, but the installation of the new pontoon helps pave the way for a bright future.”

He added: “The pontoon will enable us to increase participation across a number of our sports, including sailing and paddle sports.

“It also sets the groundwork for the next stage in our development to make the centre more inclusive and specifically wheelchair friendly.”

Nicholas Barker, Director of Barker Wealth Consultancy Ltd, Partner Practice of St James's Place Wealth Management, said: “It is great that the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation has been able to support The Anderton Centre.

“I know that many schoolchildren, community groups and voluntary organisations benefit from their excellent services and they will now be able to take advantage of the new pontoon.”

The Anderton Centre is the site of one of the North West’s most successful paddle sports club and delivers British Canoeing and Royal Yachting Association accredited courses.

It uses adventure and problem solving activities to build confidence,develop teamwork and independence.