Work is progressing well on a £900,000 commercial and leisure boat marina on the River Nene at Sutton Bridge.
Lincolnshire County Council, which is steering the project, says wet-side works should be completed in autumn and boat owners are likely to begin using the marina in spring.
Paul Wheatley, the council’s group manager for economic development, said: “The last of the piles for the leisure moorings has now been installed and work is beginning on those for the commercial ones.
“A number of pontoons have been floated down from Wisbech and fixed in position, with more expected in the next month or so.
“Meanwhile, the access brow, which will create a bridge from the bank to the pontoons, is being manufactured and should be ready for installation in August.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest in the moorings, and will start to take formal applications in the near future.”
The marina has been years in the making and the project has proved controversial with some residents disputing the council’s claims about the potential economic benefits it will deliver to the village.
In the early days, a community interest company (CIC) was set up to help deliver the marina and, although the CIC is all but redundant, one of its founders, resident Jenny Rowe, said: “We have been pushing for it for years and, at last, it’s coming to fruition. I think it will be a big boon for the village.”
Mrs Rowe says once the marina is completed, it will be the closest to The Wash and that’s certain to prove attractive to boat owners who don’t want to take the long trip from Wisbech.
As work started on the marina in April, Coun Colin Davie, the council’s executive member for economic development, told us: “The marina will act as a gateway to the county, and we want to make it as attractive to visitors as possible.
“We anticipate it will lead to increased visitor numbers, many of whom will be using local shops, pubs and restaurants. We also expect to see opportunities arise for businesses providing services for the boating community.
“This will provide a significant boost to the local economy, something that will benefit businesses and residents alike.”
The council said leisure moorings would cater for up to 20 boats while the commercial moorings would ensure that both the Nene navigation pilot boat and Eastern IFCA (a fisheries protection agency) could remain based at Sutton Bridge.
Each mooring will provide boaters with electricity and water connections at the tie-up point, while a car park will allow marina users to leave their cars safely off the road.
• Boat owners seeking moorings can call the council economic development service on 01522 550600.