MAJOR improvements are planned at a watersports activity facility in the district.

A planning application has been submitted for substantial upgrades to Doe Park Activity Centre, on the outskirts of Denholme and next to Doe Park reservoir.

If approved, the site’s existing, dated changing facilities and meeting room would be replaced with a new “multi-purpose facility” including better changing, shower and toilet facilities, a social and training area, kitchen, storage and drying area, temporary container and additional car parking.

It would allow an extra 60 people to use the site.

The intention is to create a “water sports, multi-adventure and outdoor education centre based in a country park style setting” – according to Bradford Council, which runs the site.

Doe Park Reservoir is leased from Yorkshire Water.

The council’s vision for the centre’s future would also see walking and cycling facilities around the 11,493-square-metre site improved, and a possible link with the Great Northern Trail, a walking and cycling route on a former railway line that is currently being developed.

Based in one of the most rural areas of the district, Doe Park is used for sailing, canoeing and dragon boat training, and is popular with both professional sports teams and numerous schools and youth groups.

There are also non-water-based activities run from the site, including climbing, archery, nature studies, survival skills and team-building sessions.

The existing facilities on the site date back to the late 1980s, and the planning application says the onsite buildings are not adequate for the centre’s future plans.

It says: “This facility has already suffered badly from poor design and wear and tear.

“It does not have the capacity to fulfil the demands put on it throughout the summer season (Easter to October).

“The number of centre users is restricted by the changing and training facilities. Current summer season usage ranges between 30 and 60 customers per day, however the existing clubhouse facilities cannot accommodate 60 at once.”

The existing two (male and female) changing facilities only have space for 12 people each.

The planning application sets out the ambitious goals for the centre’s future, adding: “The site has potential to attract the surrounding rural communities as well as inner-city residents, schools, youth and community groups to a country park type venue.

“As well as the facilities offered by the centre, visitors may eventually be able to access walking, cycling and educational and health-related trails around the lake, which may link into the Great Northern Trail scheme which hopes to pass Doe Park as the project develops.”