The Final Stretch…

Target £4.9 M
Total raised to date £4.8 M
Total left to raise £100,000

For the past 4 years we have been approaching alumni to ask for their support. As a result of the generosity of a significant number of old Blues’, Goldies and other supporters have raised over £4.8 million. We are now in to the final stretch of the campaign getting us to the target of £4.9M to allow us to complete the fitting out of the new building to the best possible standard.

The new Cambridge University Boathouse at Ely was officially opened on Saturday 3rd December by the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University – Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. Over 400 donors, friends, guests and current rowers came together to celebrate the new Centre of Excellence for Cambridge University rowing.

August, 2016

August, 2016

June, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

March, 2016

December 2016

December 2016

December 2016

Donor Recognition

Scroll of appreciation

For every gift of £500 or more, the donor’s name will be inscribed into the beams above the doorway into the entrance hall.

The name of every crew or squad will also be inscribed where a majority (5 of a crew; 11 of a squad) has given.

The Honours Board of Friends

An Honours Board in the stairwell will record the names of everyone who has given £10,000 to £29,999.

A donor may choose to record the memory of another person or group. Those who wish to remain anonymous can choose to be described such as “1960s Goldie man”; “Winning Blue” by agreement with CUBC.

The Crew Honours Board of Friends

A Crew Honours Board in the stairwell will record the names of every crew where the total donated is between £10k and £29,999.

(Where a donor competed in more than one year, his/her contribution will count towards the crew honours in each year)

The Honours Board of Benefactors

An Honours Board in the stairwell will record the names of every individual who has given £30,000 or more.

A donor may choose to record the memory of another person or group.

The Crew Honours Board of Benefactors

An Honours Board in the stairwell will record the names of every crew where the total donated is greater than £30,000.

(Where a donor competed in more than one year, his/her contribution will count towards the crew honours in each year)

Naming opportunities for individuals or groups

Name a room – a gift of £60k can name one of several rooms (kitchen, changing rooms, physiotherapy rooms etc)

Name a boat rack – a gift of £100k. Opportunity to name the coaches’ office or name one of the Boat Racks (6 to sell; 2 Blue Boats, 2 reserve boats, 2 Lightweight crews)

Name a boat bay – a gift of £300k. There are four bays in the current design.

Name the Boathouse – a gift of £1.5m

How to Give

Please email to find out the details for payment.

Alternatively you can send mail to:

Cambridge University Boat Club
The Goldie Boathouse
Kimberley Road

  1. Set up a reference which includes your name
  2. Email a copy of the instructions to
  3. If you wish to claim Gift Aid, please use the giving form which has a Gift Aid Declaration on it.
  1. Make a pledge – please contact
  2. Gift of shares – please contact and you will be guided through the process
  3. Matched giving – set your crewmates a challenge! Contact in the first instance
  4. Make a gift in your will – contact for suggested wording and more information

If you are resident outside of the UK or USA, please contact will be able to advise you on the ways to give and the appropriate tax processes as Cambridge University has agreements with a number of countries in terms of charitable donations.

The University also have a donation page for us.


If you are resident in the United States, you can donate via Cambridge in America. Cambridge in America is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service) which funds grants that benefit Cambridge University and its member Colleges. In compliance with IRS regulations, the Board of Directors of Cambridge in America maintains complete discretion over allocation of gifts to Cambridge. Gifts to Cambridge in America qualify for an income tax deduction to the limits allowed by law. Further information can be found here.

Please mark your donation form with ‘The Ely Boathouse Project’

Cambridge University (including its associated institutions) is an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1993. CUBC’s FICO number is X59043.

Frequently Asked Questions

I cannot afford to give very much – what difference will it make?
Every gift gets us closer to our target and donations can be spread over a period of five years. The Club can also claim Gift Aid from UK donors. A gift of £6.72 per month can be worth £500 to CUBC.
CUBC has sponsorship – doesn’t this cover the costs of building a boathouse?
Much of our headline sponsorship goes towards running the event and meeting the costs of our sponsors. CUBC receives a generous grant from this but each year it barely covers the costs of preparing the crews and buying equipment. What money we have saved we have put towards the boathouse.
Where has the money come from?
Our crewmates have been very, very generous. We’ve received a large number of gifts at all levels from the biggest (£750k) down to £500. Seven of our colleagues have given sums well into six figures, and we do hope that those that can afford to will manage to stretch to five figures. Over thirty people have already done this, and another fifty have promised between one and ten thousand pounds. Every member of the three Clubs’ Executive Committees has made a gift. Blues, Goldies and Trial Caps from the 1950s to the 2010s have made pledges.
Why isn’t the University paying for the boathouse?
The University has already made a significant donation to Ely and also it has supported the recent extension to the Goldie boathouse. The support has made a big difference but now it is up to us to find the rest.
Why does a boathouse cost £4.9m?
We started with the need to buy an undeveloped site. Land purchase, planning permission, and provision of services, access road, site modification wet dock for launches, landing stages, etc plus the cost of raising funds will have taken up £2.4m. We aspire to build an excellent boathouse for £2.5m.
We won many Boat Races from our old premises, why do we need one now? What was good enough in our day…
Ely has changed, and the Marina company owns all the land around the King’s School boathouse. The School are our landlords and have told us they wish to redevelop the site. We could be left without a training base in two years’ time.
Why share with the other Clubs?
It makes sense to share the costs of developing and running the site. Excellence does not lie solely with Heavyweight Men’s rowing – the London Olympics saw GB winning medals in Women’s and Lightweight rowing events. In 2015 the Women’s Boat Race was raced on the Boat Race tide. We strongly believe we should share our new facilities with the other Clubs, and they are working hard to help us raise the money. Not only that, but many families nowadays have Blues from more than one Club.
Who will look after the money I give?
CUBC has set up a Trust company – the CUBC Foundation – which will own the Club’s assets, including the freehold of The Goldie, the endowment funds (of which only the income is available to the Club) and the money given to the Ely project. This will eventually be exchanged for shares in the Boat House Company. Lord Wilson, former Master of Emmanuel, has kindly agreed to chair the Foundation. More information on its governance can be obtained from the Club.
What happens to my gift if the sharing arrangement doesn’t last?
The boathouse will be owned by the Cambridge University Boathouse Company (CUBL) whose share capital will reflect the contributions of the different Clubs. More details are available from CUBC.
Will there be space for College crews?
In principle, yes. In practice this is more likely to be of interest to College First Boats for out-of-term training camps, as there are few free training times during the Boat Race training season.
Why not support a Rowing Lake in Cambridge instead?
We are convinced that access to the Adelaide Reach is a key requirement of Boat Race preparation. It’s worth noting that although OUBC have access to the GB 2000m training lake at Caversham, they have still built their new boathouse on the Wallingford Reach.
Do you really need a smart boathouse?
The truth is that British Public Schools, US Universities and top Junior rowing clubs all have better training facilities than CUBC. Oxford have access to state-of-the-art sites at Wallingford, Iffley Road (where there is an 8-seat rowing tank), the 2000m course at nearby Caversham and, in addition, are closer in travelling time to the Tideway for weekend outings. Time is precious during term and we need a facility that will get the very best out of every training moment.
But the boat Race is all about graduates, foreigners and professionals now…
Yes, the University has changed greatly. Nowadays Cambridge has nearly 40% of students doing graduate degrees, and one third of all students come from overseas. We believe it is right that the Boat Race crews reflect the composition of the Universities – as indeed do most College First Boats. In a world where most top athletes are professionals both Vice-Chancellors are committed to the concept of the Scholar Athlete, good with both book and blade. Within this environment CUBC still seeks out and grows its own talent, and undergraduates such as Tom James and George Nash are able to advance to the highest levels of achievement.