NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies, offering a variety of skills and experience and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met. With HMCG sadly moving away from Weymouth – the training centre will replace the impressive training facility we currently have the privilege of using at Weymouth and Portland Coastguard HQ.
The new Training Centre at the Portland Bill lookout, funded entirely by donations was formally opened by the HRH The Princess Royal during her visit to present the QAVS and view the operation of the recently installed CCTV camera, mounted on the top of Portland Bill lighthouse.
The centre was built on site during the earlier part of 2012 from the ground up. The construction is timber frame with celotex insulation, composite external cladding with a one piece EPDM rubber membrane roof covering; the unit comes complete with double glazed doors and windows, and is monitored and recorded by CCTV and intruder alarm 24/7. The room can seat 40+ people in theatre style & with the two large conference tables there is plenty of scope for chart work or displays, leaving ample room for the lecturer to conduct training sessions from the revolving whiteboard or from a laptop via the ceiling mounted projector on to the large remote controlled drop down screen.
Training courses will commence shortly together with VHF qualification and First Aid courses. We hope to hold more public open days plus it will also give us the much needed additional space to provide visiting groups with a chance to learn more about the work we carry out at Portland Bill & allow them to watch the DVDs about our history in comfort. It’s a first class training centre for our watchkeepers and provides ample space for group talks / lectures or display / information centre. We have recently upgraded our small kitchen area in the main building which will enable us to make our visitors a welcome coffee & have time to chat about their visit. From time to time we will also hold exhibitions linked with Portland, the Jurrassic Coast and various other educational agencies benefiting the community.
The centre will be used during the summer months for a series of open days in order to attract income for the lookout.
( Double click any photograph for an enlarged view )