Plas Heli Cyf – The Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, a volunteer not for profit community enterprise company was severely affected by the Pandemic but emerged into 2022 with good prospects, promising events, and the return of core business activity. The RYA UK Youth Championships, our new franchisee caterer, and the completion of ground works all happened at the same time in April 2022! We hosted a further three National Championships in 2022 to great effect, including the RYA CW Youth and Junior Championships. We continue to work closely with RYA CW to provide facilities for training camps, storage, and activities, and we respect the strategic importance of the facilities for events, training and boating in Wales.
We have been able to invest on facility improvements, our camping capacity has increased from 15 pitches in 2019 to 55 pitches for our 2023 events, including the new grass camping area. We have further extended our capacity on the pontoons with new finger pontoons, and we are now expecting the delivery of the new quayside crane. There have been substantial upgrades to the fleet of 10 RIBs and race management equipment. A new telehandler makes the deployment of equipment for events and training camps a safe and easier operation. Flags have been purchased in readiness for 2023, and landscaping works continue and with more in the pipeline.
There are seven significant events in 2023 starting with the IRC Welsh National Championships and Feva Nationals in May. In August we host the ITCA Topper Nationals and 420 Class Association UK Nationals, Optimist Late Summer Championships in September and a 29er Grand Prix in October. There is a World Championship booked in for 2024 along with a strong order book of impressive, proposed events and the regular training camps for RYA, RYA CW, and Class Associations.
Community engagement works continues and included our work with clubs and associations, assistance with facilities for a disability boat, fundraising events, classrooms for community groups, meetings, teaching and our work with children in-need.
Catering at the centre is now a franchise arrangement with Sean Devlin Ltd. The service is growing in reputation, and they have built a good name for quality and customer experience.
We are reliant on volunteers and are of course, grateful for all assistance provided by our stakeholder groups and clubs.
Challenges for 2023 include energy costs and shower and toilet provision for the growing events and training portfolio.
There is more about Plas Heli in the updated Plas Heli - Prospectus