£1.8 million will help deliver a Marina for Northampton
09 Mar 2009
Board members at West Northamptonshire Development Corporation today approved £1,887,600 as part of funding to create a marina in Becket's Park, Northampton. The marina would form phase 1A of a wider project and bring 82 permanent and a number of visitor moorings to the disused rowing lake.
Attracting new visitors by creating a new leisure facility in a prime urban location will help to boost the local economy whilst fulfilling the green space needs of local residents. Later phases to the Becket's Park project could deliver new landscaping, lighting, café's and restaurants and provide a busy, exciting link between the town centre and the waterside.
Improving the walking, cycling and boating routes to the east and west of the town will help Northampton become easier to get around and a more interesting destination for residents and visitors.
John Markham, chairman of WNDC, said: "Projects like the marina go a long way to support the growth agenda. Green infrastructure really makes a difference to how people spend time in the town where they live. Building a marina will help attract new people to Northampton and we hope to bring thousands of visitors in 2011 if the national Waterways Festival is secured. WNDC will continue to work with partners to create a busy and vibrant waterside."
Councillor Richard Church, Northampton Borough Council's cabinet member for regeneration said: "For too long the River Nene has been a fantastic natural asset that the town seemed to have forgotten. Northampton has the potential to become an important hub for the boating community, linking the Grand Union Canal and waterways to the west with the river networks of east Anglia.
"Last year the Borough Council began a project to revitalise the riverside, the new marina is the next phase in bringing the riverside back to life. The marina could create a 'regional centre' for boat users, putting Northampton on the map as a waterways destination attracting boat enthusiasts and other visitors to our town. This is a great project not just for boat users, but as a focus for investment in good quality places for people to live and work close to the riverside."
Northampton is one of two areas shortlisted to host the National Inland Waterways Festival in 2011. If successful, the festival will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival returning to the town and 250 years of the Nene being navigable from Northampton to the Wash. WNDC, Northampton Borough Council, River Nene Regional Park, the Environment Agency, Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited and Northamptonshire County Council make up the Beckets Park Partnership and will continue working together to develop the plans. If further funding and access arrangements can be agreed, work could start on the marina before summer 2009.