WISBECH: New slipway plans will form part of revitalised Wisbech Port

PUBLISHED: 14:55 03 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:41 29 April 2010

EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY A MAJOR expansion of Wisbech Port including the re-development of a 5,500 square metre site for a refurbished slipway and a new boat building and repair yard has been announced. Fenland District Council owns the site and plan

EXCLUSIVE

By JOHN ELWORTHY

A MAJOR expansion of Wisbech Port including the re-development of a 5,500 square metre site for a refurbished slipway and a new boat building and repair yard has been announced.

Fenland District Council owns the site and plan to carry out the development and they say the slipway will be the only facility of its kind between the River Humber and Lowestoft.

A design and access statement for the revamped port site has now been submitted to the council's own planning department for approval.

"The slipway is to be refurbished and put back into use, allowing boats to be taken out and put in the water at this location," said a council spokesman. "Presently small local commercial vessels have to travel large distances to be slipped for repair."

The spokesman said a new boat 'parking' area will be put onto the Crab Marsh site alongside the Nene.

Land south of the slipway is to be fenced off and included as part of the existing boat yard site. The council says the extra space is needed because the yard is presently full and there is a large need for further boat parking spaces.

Fenland Council intend to built and manage the new facilities but lease them to a private company who will provide the service.

"Interest from third parties has already been shown," said the spokesman. "The project has been identified as an important element to the regeneration of the Nene Waterfront."

The purchase of the slipway was made possible with funds from partners European Regeneration Funding, administered by GO-East, EEDA and the council. Funding included the provision of work space units as well as the heavy-duty winching equipment to raise and lower boats from the river.

Fenland Council has bought back the slipway after selling it nearly half a century ago to Dagless boat builders who used it to launch their wooden motor cruisers.

The land was then acquired by Shire Buildings, shed manufacturers, when Dagless ceased trading in the 1970s.

The slipway fell into disuse before being leased to Perkins Engines for the testing of marine engines through the late 80s and into the 1990s but then again fell into disuse.


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