Smooth sailing for Sutton Bridge marina project

The pontoons have been floated down the River Nene from Wisbech

The pontoons have been floated down the River Nene from Wisbech

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Good progress is being made on Crosskeys Marina, an impressive new gateway to Lincolnshire.

The new £900,000 commercial and leisure marina for Sutton Bridge continues to take shape, with contractors Drake Towage well advanced with the fixing of the pontoons, which will provide two lines of moorings for leisure craft.

In a change from the norm, the pontoons have been floated down the River Nene from Wisbech, reducing the need for HGV journeys and creating something of a local spectacle.

It is anticipated that the leisure moorings will cater for up to 20 boats (a combination of those owned by local boaters and visiting craft), while the commercial moorings will ensure that both the Nene navigation pilot boat and Eastern IFCA (a fisheries protection agency) can remain based in Sutton Bridge.

Each mooring point will provide boaters with electricity and water connections at the tie-up point, while a car park will allow marina users to leave their cars safely off the road while tending their boats.

Coun Colin Davie, executive member for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I’m very pleased with the progress that has been made so far, and am confident the marina will be up and running well before the next boating season.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest from the boating fraternity, with over 70 people having applied to rent a mooring.

“We anticipate the project will lead to increased visitor numbers, many of whom will be using local shops, pubs and restaurants. We also expect to see opportunities arise for businesses providing services for the boating community.

“This will provide a significant boost to the local economy, something that will benefit businesses and residents alike.”

The works are expected to be completed in the coming months, and boat owners are likely to be able to use the new facility from early 2017.

Funding for the project has come from Lincolnshire County Council, an s106 community development fund for Sutton Bridge, and the two commercial users.

Applications from boat owners seeking mooring space can be made to the Lincolnshire County Council’s Economic Development Service via development@lincolnshire.gov.uk and 01522 550600.