DCSIMG

Funding boost keeps taxi afloat

Water Taxi pilot Terry Day, Spalding.
Photo:  SG 310812-115TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

Water Taxi pilot Terry Day, Spalding. Photo: SG 310812-115TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

Plans for Spalding Water Taxi are being kept afloat – with an added boost of £30,000 funding.

Cabinet members at South Holland District Council were eager to approve the sum over two years, after a bid for £21,136 of Section 106 funding from the Springfields-Thornfields Development failed to meet the required criteria.

A two-year sponsorship agreement with Hills Department Store also ended in December.

Councillors were told the Section 106 money had been requested to cover costly essential maintenance and repairs, with a marketing element.

When the bid was rejected, an offer was made by the council to explore other funding streams.

As a result it was recommended £30,000 should be allocated over two years out of the S106 transport budget.

Coun Howard Johnson said: “It’s very easy to support this. Whenever you see Spalding advertised there seems to be a picture of the water taxi.

“This is money well spent.”

Every summer since 2005, Broadgate Homes and South Holland Council have paired up to launch the Spalding water taxis for return trips from the town centre along the River Welland and Coronation Channel to Springfields.

The water taxi is expected to attract between 11,000 and 14,000 passengers between Easter and October.

As well as a valued facility for shoppers, it is also popular with nature lovers using it to catch a glimpse of otters and kingfishers along the route.

Securing the extra funding means the boats can be revamped and the service relaunched to restore some of its original novelty value and interest to the public.

However, there is now an expectation on the company that it will aim to be self-sufficient.

From Easter, members of the public can expect to catch a taxi roughly every 30 minutes from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

The taxi boats, with a capacity for 12 people at a time, are also offered for private charter, any day of the year – daytime or evening.

For more information, visit www.spaldingwatertaxi.co.uk or call 01406 380532 or 07970 832131.

 

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