TOURISM in Spalding is to be given a £75,000 boost with a major town centre advertising campaign and improvements to the water taxi.
The town is to join forces with Springfields and the Red Lion Quarter to sell itself via a £50,000 television, radio and leaflet campaign to neighbouring counties.
Spalding Water Taxi, which is owned by South Holland District Council and Broadgate Homes, will also benefit from £25,000 of improvements to move its moorings to a more secure spot on the river.
The district council has agreed to take £55,000 left over from the original Springfields Section 106 agreement to put towards the projects.
A further £10,000 is also being contributed from both the Red Lion Quarter and Springfields.
“With the food heritage centre opening at the end of March we obviously wanted to do a lot of advertising to market it to a wider audience,” said deputy council leader Coun Nick Worth. “Springfields has lots of experience in that area so we are doing a joint marketing campaign.
“If we can bring lots of people in that will spin off for the water taxi too.”
Coun Worth said excitement was “building” about the upcoming opening of the Red Lion Quarter.
“This is a good news story,” he said. “It’s about maximising the potential of what we have and when we have something good, making sure we shout about it.”
Broadgate Homes chief executive Ian Canham said the £25,000 for the water taxi will help the service’s battle against vandalism.
In the past, the disabled lift at Springfields and boat moorings at the yacht club have been damaged, costing the not for profit service about £6,750.
The changes will see the moorings move to a more secure location, new electrical connections, a new CCTV camera and connections to the control room at Springfields.
Mr Canham said: “We are using the Section 106 funds to make the service more sustainable.
“You can get to the point where the cost of repairs can make it unviable.”
The improvements are now being put forward to the Environment Agency.
“We don’t want the service to finish,” said Mr Canham. “It was never going to make lots of money but it does a great job.
“It gives a different view on things. There are not many towns like Spalding which have got something as unique as this.”
The water taxi will resume its service again just before Easter.