Vision to put district on marina map

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A VISION of South Holland as a top waterside destination has been floated in the hope of making it a reality within a decade.

The banks of the River Glen through Surfleet Seas End and the Welland from Crowland to Surfleet could be dotted with moorings for narrow boats and pleasure craft as well as up to three marinas which could bring in thousands of tourists each year.

Plans could also mean millions to the district’s economy as existing businesses expand to cater for the visitor influx and new firms offering services such as boat building, repairs and chandlery move in.

The ambitious project has been outlined in a Spalding Waterspace Study involving South Holland District Council and the Environment Agency, as well as scores of other interested agencies who have helped thrash out the feasibility of different locations and options.

It is now hoped a “living” document published in the summer to little fanfare will be picked up by organisations which can turn the dream into reality.

Erin Witcomb-Vos, from the Environment Agency, said: “Spalding could be a great waterside destination and this really could become a reality for the town.

“The river through the district is a tremendous asset which a lot of towns would die for.

“The town has this opportunity on its doorstep. Once upon a time the river was more important to the local economy and culture, so we are trying to recapture that possibility.

“We are now forming a group, and by the spring we are hoping they will have been shown our ideas and we will see what they can do to make them happen.”

South Holland district councillor Howard Johnson said: “This document is a vital piece of work and will help shape future plans for South Holland.

“I would welcome a marina somewhere in Spalding because it would bring in the holiday trade as well as a massive amount of jobs.

“I do think Spalding could be a waterside destination of the future and I think it would be desirable.

“However, I don’t expect it will happen by this time next year, we are probably looking at ten years, but I would hope it will be sooner.”