HOAC to close due to HS2
From 1st October HOAC will be forced to close as the Centre finally succumbs to the advancing HS2 project. HOAC will continue to exist we have the funding in place to relocate and we will return. There will however be a period of time that we will be unable to operate.
For the past few seasons HOAC have managed, with plenty of support from many influential people, to hold HS2 at bay and be able to continue offering this unique opportunity to a wide range of users. Those that have used the Centre this season will have seen how HS2 are advancing and closing in on us.
The 2020 season has been a very challenging one with managing both the disruption from HS2 and the Covid Pandemic. Despite that we have been very pleased to see so many people continuing to make use of the Centre through our Covid opening program and our summer holiday courses. Thank you all for managing to navigate our website (which wasn’t designed for how we have used it this summer) and apologies for those that have had issues trying to use it. I would also like to thank you for continuing to use the Centre despite having to navigate Dews Lane and the security teams on it. Seeing people making use of the facilities is what keeps us going and helps gain us political support when we are trying to negotiate our future.
2020 winter and beyond
Unfortunately as already stated from 1st October we are being forced to close as HS2 will finally take over and destroy our Centre. We had always planned that when this day would come we would be able to move to a new site and continue our operations elsewhere. However due to stalled negotiations between HS2 and LBH (London Borough of Hillingdon) we are not yet ready to move to a new site, so the Centre will face a period of closure. At this stage we do not know how long we will be closed for or where our new site will be, however we are pushing the government hard to resolve the stalemate and hopefully in the near future I will be able to share some more positive news. We are still hopeful that by next Spring we will be operating at a new site.
Those with annual membership or longer deals, we thank you for your continued support of the Centre, as we will have a period of closure we can offer you a couple of options regarding your unused membership.
- We can refund you for the unused portion of your membership
- We can hold your membership fee and use this as a credit for future membership once we re-open.
We would obviously prefer you to choose the 2nd option as this gives us greater negotiating power regarding our future with the safe knowledge that we have the support of our current members, and we will ensure that this deal is a better value than a refund.
We will assume that if you do not contact us that you are happy to proceed with option 2. If at a later date you change your mind the refund option will still be available. When contacting the office please email [email protected] we are still running with a smaller team in the office due to Covid-19 and may not always be around to answer the phones
For those with boats at HOAC we will have staff continuing to ensure the Centre and your boats are stored safely so you are welcome to leave your boats at HOAC until such a point that we relocate. You will still be able to access the Centre to work on your boat or to take it away for a weekend trip for example. Access will need to be pre-planned with the office to ensure we have people here for you and that HS2 security are aware that you are coming. So regarding boat-parking we have a couple of options
- Leave your boat at HOAC with limited access
- Remove your boat from HOAC and get a credit for future boat parking once we re-open
- Remove your boat from HOAC and get a refund for your unused portion
If you do not contact us we will assume you are happy for your boat to remain here. When contacting the office please email [email protected] we are still running with a smaller team in the office due to Covid-19 and may not always be around to answer the phones
We are still hopeful that we will be able to run our school and groups program in 2021, we have groups reserving dates for the summer of 2021 and again this helps us with our negotiations and future planning. As we get further into the Autumn we will be in a better position to know what we can do and will contact all the groups booked in once we have more updates
Although, at present our future doesn’t look particularly bright, HOAC will carry on once we get over this short-term closure. Due to our negotiations and persuasion the funding for moving HOAC is guaranteed and is written into the Hybrid Act, so HOAC will move and get funding to execute that move.
I do hope you are able to continue to support the Centre as we negotiate this latest hurdle in what has been a 10-year battle. Once we re-open free from the shackles of the HS2 burden that has blighted the Centre for many seasons we can again look positively towards the future and start to re-build the Centre and continue to offer the unique facilities that you have all continued to enjoy.
Thank you all for your continued support and we will see you back out on the water in 2021