THE renowned Boat Building Academy at Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with an open day.
The day started with a presentation by academy director Will Reed, who spoke briefly about the building’s history and plans to develop the site and the practical training courses it offers in the future.
The academy was founded in 1997 by Commander Tim Gedge after a career in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. He now serves as honorary life president of the organisation and still owns the building which he leases to the academy for a reasonable rate.
The academy was granted charity status in 2020 and more recently has developed a programme of furniture-making courses which share the same philosophy as the boat building training; intensive and highly practical development of skills.
Will spoke about ambitious plans to eventually purchase the site at Monmouth Beach and expand and develop it with the hope of offering a wider range of courses to more students.
He said he also hopes to improve on engagement between the academy and local community in the future.
Celebrations then got underway with the cutting of a ribbon by Tim Gedge to mark the 25th anniversary, and members of the public were then able to explore the workshop and get an up-close look at current projects – both boats and furniture projects.
Outside, a number of the academy’s complete craft were on display, and entertainment was provided by a traditional bagpiper.
For more information on the Boat Building Academy and its courses, visit www.boatbuildingacademy.com