Tees Barrage International White Water Course
|Teesside White Water course|
Upper settling pool of the Tees Barrage International White Water Course (2008)
|Road access||via A66 in Thornaby-on-Tees|
|Maintained by||British Waterways|
|Managing agent||Tees Active Limited|
|Water source||Tees Barrage on the River Tees|
|Class||1 – 3 (4)|
|Water quality||grade A**|
|Practice pool||flatwater course|
|Lighting||Flood and spot-lights|
|Facilities||day and overnight|
|Opening date||22 April 1995|
|Loops||Two, one long and one short|
|Length||Long: 250 metres (820 ft)|
Short: 95 metres (312 ft)
|Width||7 metres (23 ft)|
|Drop||3.7 metres (12 ft)|
|Slope||Long: 78 ft/mi (1.5%) Short: 205 ft/mi (3.9%)|
|Flowrate||14 m3/s (494 ft3/s)|
White Water Course
The Tees Barrage International White Water Course, originally the Teesside White Water Course, is an artificial whitewater course on the north bank of the River Tees, in North East England. It is part of the Tees Barrage and is located in the Stockton-on-Tees district, accessible by road only from Thornaby-on-Tees and best accessed by the A66. The course was built in 1995 at a cost of £2m. The course is now open once more under the new name TBIWWC (Tees Barrage International White Water Centre).
The course is owned by the Canal & River Trust but administered by Tees Active from the on-site watersports centre. The white water facility offers kayaking, whitewater slalom, playboating and white water rafting plus surfing on the 'surf wave'.
The centre's facilities include log cabins, a placid practice pool; watersports centre, shop and cafe; car parking, camping, picnicing and caravanning areas; bandstand and landscaped amphitheatre, The Talpore pub, a restaurant and hotel. The course itself is a 'U' shaped loop, 250 m long, 7 m wide with a 3.7 m drop and a flow of 14 cumecs (m3/s). The immediate environs of the white water course include the Teesdale Way cycle path (National Cycle Network), the River Tees, the Tees Barrage and the placid grade A two star waters of the river Tees; the David Lloyd Leisure racquet centre, a superstore and Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve.
The state of the course can depend on the level of the tide in the River Tees. The course can operate by flow diversion for two or three hours either side of low tide but can operate at any time when the pumps are used. The course can operate all year round and in hours of darkness when it is flood-lit, and spot-lit on the two footbridges.
Photo gallery (2008)
In 2010 and 2011, a £4.6m redevelopment of the course was undertaken. The changes include the addition of a new shorter, steeper course and a canoe lift with disabled paddlers in mind. Four large 12 m long 3 m diameter Archimedes' screws were installed to pump water from the bottom pool to the top pool guaranteeing water levels for paddlers at all states of the tide. There are plans to generate electricity from the head of river water above the barrage by putting the Archimedes' screws into reverse when not pumping water around the course, making the course more energy efficient. These improvements made the site a world class training facility which is proposed as a training camp location for the 2012 Olympic games. Work started in March 2010 and was completed in October 2011. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited Stockton on 18 July 2012 to officially reopen the International White Water Course as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom.
The Tees Barrage International White Water Course is not to be confused with The River Tees Watersports Centre, Dugdale Street, Stockton-on-Tees 1 km further upriver on the same side near the Princess of Wales Bridge or indeed the Castlegate Quay Water Sports Centre a little further up-river near Teesquay Millennium Bridge.
- "Whitewater Parks Worldwide". Mississippi Whitewater Park Development Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
- "Tees White Water Course". Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Redding, Mike. "River Tees Barrage". The UK Rivers Guidebook. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
- "Team GB Future Olympic Stars Training at Tees Barrage" (PDF). British Waterways & Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative. 8 December 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
- McKenzie, Sandy (25 June 2008). "Public backing for £3.5m Tees Barrage development". Gazette Live. Teesside: Evening Gazette. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
- Walker, Tom (13 June 2008). "Tees Barrage course gets £3.5m upgrade". leisureopportunities.com. Retrieved 20 January 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Team GB Future Olympic Stars Training at Tees Barrage". Middlesbrough Council. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2009.[dead link]
- "Information about River Tees". waterscape.com. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- "Upgrade begins on Tees Barrage white water course". Gazette Live. Teesside: Evening Gazette. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Queen Elizabeth in Stockton as part of North-east visit". Evening Gazette. Retrieved 18 July 2012.