Harrogate-based dive centre Diveshack UK has submitted plans for an ambitious purpose-built dive training pool near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire.
Tim Yarrow, owner of Diveshack UK, is keen to ensure the area gains a ‘truly unique' facility, and his progressive plan would see a site at Thistle Hill be changed from agricultural land to a deep-water training pool.
Tim said: “Scuba diving is not an elitist sport, and we have people diving with us from all walks of life and background. It is a chance to introduce the ever-growing army of youngsters to the environmental issues we are facing and giving them the life skills, which are crucial for things like marine biology, reef exploration and regeneration projects around the globe.
“The active club of Diveshack has 150 people, some of whom who do courses in preparation for holidays abroad, some to dive here in the UK and some do both. Our youngest diver is now 11, having completed her course at 10 and is currently spearheading an environmental charity campaign.
“Having opened the shop in 2018, momentum was good until, like many, Covid hit and forced closure of the shop during lockdown. This did give us chance to look at what was working well and what could be done better.”
He continued: “Our two main problems were location – central Harrogate is not ideal for people dropping cylinders off for filling and picking up, with parking being difficult – and getting access to appropriate training facilities, namely pools, with limited availability, depth not being ideal in most pools, and the actual cost.”
Tim looked at these challenging factors and came up with the idea of this facility, which would be on land his family already owns, and which has horses on at the moment.
Tim explained: “The facility proposed will allow access for Diveshack to promote courses tailored to individual needs and timings, taking very little of the land for change of use, and with no negative impact on the close neighbours, of whom all have been consulted and are in support.
“It has been drawn up in a sympathetic way to the environment, with materials and energy usage, and aims to be the best, most eco-designed scuba training facility in the North.”