A project to make water sports available to all ages and abilities has been given the support of Helston Town Council – although it stopped short of backing it financially.

The Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust had asked councillors to write a letter of support for its plans to develop Trevassack Lake, a flooded former quarry near Goonhilly Downs, into a centre for fully accessible water sports activities.

The trust is currently in the process of writing a second stage bid to the Cornwall Coastal Communities Fund, which it hopes will fund a Learning Centre for children and young people with disabilities, along with seven lodges where families with disabled children could holiday together.

Fundraising manager Helen Bishop-Stephens said a letter from Helston’s councillors would be “very helpful” in showing community support. She also asked them to consider pledging seed-funding towards the “large-scale project.”

The charity previously estimated that it would be able to provide activities to around 1,600 children of all abilities each year, with around 13,000 individual outings in that time.

Members were keen to give their backing, with mayor John Martin pointing out that after 2021 the Helston South electoral division of Cornwall Council will include the Helford River.

He added: “They are our neighbours, but there are a huge amount of Helston residents using the facilities.”

However, councillors agreed that their budget was too small to pledge any funding – particularly as they had already given £440 to the trust within this financial year, back in September, towards the sailing costs of Parc Eglos and St Michael’s school pupils.

Councillor Miles Kenchington also said he felt “quite strongly” that grants should not be made outside of the council’s designated award times of February and September.

“If it was a case of, ‘We need this because there’s an immediate risk, or requirement now’…but I can’t support any financial commitment by this council at this moment in time,” he said.

Members agreed unanimously to write a letter of support and suggested the trust could make a grant application in the usual way, at the correct time.