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Tees Barrage International White Water Course

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tees Barrage International White Water Course
Teesside White Water course
Tees White Water Course.jpg
Upper settling pool of the Tees Barrage International White Water Course (2008)
Coordinates54°33′55.62″N 1°17′8.34″W / 54.5654500°N 1.2856500°W / 54.5654500; -1.2856500
Road accessvia A66 in Thornaby-on-Tees
Maintained byBritish Waterways
Managing agentTees Active Limited
Main shapeloop
Water sourceTees Barrage on the River Tees
Flow diversionoptional
Class1 – 3 (4)
Water qualitygrade A**
Practice poolflatwater course
Surf waveyes
LightingFlood and spot-lights
Canoe liftyes (not currently in operation)
Facilitiesday and overnight
Opening date22 April 1995
LoopsTwo, one long and one short
LengthLong: 250 metres (820 ft)
Short: 95 metres (312 ft)
Width7 metres (23 ft)
Drop3.7 metres (12 ft)
SlopeLong: 78 ft/mi (1.5%) Short: 205 ft/mi (3.9%)
Flowrate14 m3/s (494 ft3/s)
Tees Barrage
White Water Course
Long 'Jubilee' Course
River Tees inlet
Course Centre
Flat-water course
Access road
Barrage bridge
Surf wave
Upper settling pool
Happy Eater
Rapids and mini pool
Lower settling pool
Conveyor belt canoe lift
Short 'Diamond' Course
Surf wave
Upper settling pool
Lower settling pool
Conveyor belt canoe lift

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 northern 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.[1] 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.[2] 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, picnicking and caravanning areas; bandstand and landscaped amphitheatre, The Talpore pub, a restaurant and hotel. The course itself is a 'U' shaped loop,[3] 250 m long, 7 m wide with a 3.7 m drop and a flow of 14 cumecs (m3/s).[1] 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[3] 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.[4][5][6][7][8] 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.[4][6][7] These improvements made the site a world class training facility which is proposed as a training camp location for the 2012 Olympic games.[4][5][7][8] Work started in March 2010 and was completed in October 2011.[9] 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.[10]

Popular culture

The TBIWWC was used in a segment of the film 1917. In the scene, the actor George MacKay jumps into a river in France and is flung over rapids and a waterfall. These scenes were filmed at the TWBIWCC.[11]


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.


  1. ^ a b "Whitewater Parks Worldwide". Mississippi Whitewater Park Development Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Tees White Water Course". Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b Redding, Mike. "River Tees Barrage". The UK Rivers Guidebook. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "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.
  5. ^ a b McKenzie, Sandy (25 June 2008). "Public backing for £3.5m Tees Barrage development". Gazette Live. Teesside: Evening Gazette. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  6. ^ a b Walker, Tom (13 June 2008). "Tees Barrage International White-Water Course upgrades". Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b c "Team GB Future Olympic Stars Training at Tees Barrage". Middlesbrough Council. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Information about River Tees". Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  9. ^ "Upgrade begins on Tees Barrage white water course". Gazette Live. Teesside: Evening Gazette. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Queen Elizabeth in Stockton as part of North-east visit". Evening Gazette. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  11. ^ Barnard, Ashley (12 January 2020). "Tees Barrage takes starring role in film". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

List of artificial whitewater courses.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 February 2021, at 15:16
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