Ambitious Marina Project is Sailing Ahead

Ambitious Marina Project is Sailing Ahead

31 Mar 2010

Northampton Marina


Islands soon to disappear

The transformation of a disused boating lake into an 80-berth marina is taking another step forward this week.

Around 250 fish, including pike, tench, carp, roach and an eel, have been moved from the lake at Northampton's Becket's Park by the Environment Agency and released into the River Nene. The water has been drained into the river via gravity-fed channels and a pump is currently being used to empty the last of the water. It is expected this work will be completed by the end of this week.

Once the lake is fully drained, works will begin to remove silt from the boating lake and excavate the two islands that are present. This stage of the project is expected to take up to six weeks.

The islands have been covered with "screamer" tape - which makes a noise - to deter birds from nesting on them. The contractor is also making regular inspections to try and prevent nesting.


Environment Agency Waterways Engineer Paul Arnold is project managing the scheme. He said: 'The draining of the lake and subsequent removal of the islands represents a key milestone in the development of Northampton marina.

'Once these works are complete, we will be able to begin to install piles to create the marina entrance and pontoons, marking the beginning of the marina's construction stage.

'This is when the people of Northampton will be able to see this exciting new facility, that will help to regenerate the town by putting Northampton on the boating map, begin to take shape.'


The Environment Agency is constructing the marina on behalf of the Becket's Park Partnership. The Partnership is made up of the Environment Agency, Northampton Borough Council, the River Nene Regional Park, Northamptonshire County Council and West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. The WNDC is providing £1.8-million to fund the new Marina.


WNDC Chief Executive Peter Mawson said: 'Momentum is really building with this project and we're looking forward to the day when it can be used by local people and visitors. The waterside area of Northampton has a very bright future indeed. The marina will be the focal point of major waterside development, providing new places for local people to live, work and spend leisure time. '


Barges will be used to transport silt from the boating lake about 1.5km downstream on the River Nene. It will be taken to land owned by the Nene Whitewater Centre and left to dry before being landscaped. Bunds will be put in place to prevent the silt entering the river.

Material excavated from the islands will be used to increase the height of existing flood banks around the marina to ensure there is no increase in flood risk.

Northampton marina will offer 80 moorings, six of which will be for residential use. The remaining berths will be available for short term visitors and pleasure craft requiring long term leases. Moorings will also be available for operators of commercial leisure boats, such as hire boats and water taxis.

As part of long term plans to develop Northampton into The Market City, later phases of the Becket's Park project could deliver new landscaping, lighting, cafés and restaurants, while providing a busy, exciting link between the town centre and the waterside.

The marina is scheduled for completion in March 2011.


Media enquiries: Contact Rita Penman or Catherine Burbage on 01733 464357 (during normal office hours, also for emergency service only, 24 hours).

Notes for editors

The funding for the marina totals £2,155,845, secured from :

  • West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (£1,831,000)
  • Northamptonshire County Council (£204,845)
  • Environment Agency (£120,000)

For regular updates on the progress of the Becket's Park marina project and to find out what is coming up over the next month, visit the Environment Agency's dedicated waterways website at

About the Becket's Park partnership

The Becket's Park Partnership has been formed to oversee the development and progress of the project. The Environment Agency, Northampton Borough Council, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited (NEL), River Nene Regional Park (RNRP) and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) make up the partnership group.

The Environment Agency is the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment and promoting sustainable development in England and Wales.

It's our job to look after your environment and make it a better place for you, and for future generations.

Your environment is the air you breathe, the water you drink and the ground you walk on. Working with business, Government and society as a whole, we are making your environment cleaner and healthier.

We are the navigation authority responsible for the River Nene. We have produced a Waterway Plan to address our responsibilities for recreation and as a navigation authority for this river.

Our vision is that through our philosophy Your Rivers for Life, we will maintain, improve and develop our river navigation so that we offer all of our users safe facilities comparable with the best in Europe. We will do this in a sustainable manner.

To find out more about us, or about your environment, call 08708 506 506 (Mon-Fri 8-6) or email or visit our website

Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited (NEL) is a partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors. Working in association with Northamptonshire County Council, its purpose is to develop the county's economy and to support job creation in a key growth area. Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited's key objectives:

  • Invigorating Northamptonshire's Economy
  • Developing People
  • Enabling Business
  • Marketing and Promoting Northamptonshire
  • Supporting Regeneration

The River Nene Regional Park CIC - A Community Interest Company

  1. The River Nene Regional Park (RNRP) is the implementation body for Green Infrastructure, supporting the growth areas in Northamptonshire. Since its inception in 2004, the RNRP has secured more than £15-million of Government funding to support the delivery of green infrastructure projects in Northamptonshire. Its strategic framework for the delivery of green infrastructure has been adopted throughout the county and supports the North Northamptonshire and emerging West Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategies.
  2. The River Nene Regional Park:
    • Champions the provision of green infrastructure a network of multi-functional green spaces across Northamptonshire
    • Secures funding enabling partners to develop and deliver innovative projects that contribute to and enhance the green Infrastructure network
    • Co-ordinates the delivery of green infrastructure through partnership collaboration ensuring that there is a strategic and joined-up approach among partner organisations involved in delivering green infrastructure.
    • Partners include Regional Government Agencies, Local Authorities, the private and third or voluntary sectors
  3. For more information, please see

WNDC notes:

WNDC was established in 2004, and was granted planning powers (development control) in April 2006. The statutory powers and objectives of Urban Development Corporations (UDCs) such as the WNDC are set out in section 136 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980. A UDC's objective is to secure the regeneration of its area. This is to be achieved in particular through:

  • Bringing land and buildings into effective use;
  • Encouraging the development of existing and new industry and commerce;
  • Creating an attractive environment; and
  • Ensuring that housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area.

For the purpose of achieving the regeneration of its area, the WNDC may:

  • Acquire, hold, manage, reclaim and dispose of land and other property;
  • Carry out buildings and other operations;
  • Seek to ensure the provision of water, electricity, gas, sewerage and other services;
  • Carry on any business or undertaking for the purposes of regenerating its area; and
  • Generally do anything necessary or expedient for this purpose, or for purposes incidental to those purposes.

WNDC website: