A MAJOR project to improve boating facilities on the River Nene and boost tourism in Peterborough has been launched .
The Environment Agency has teamed up with Peterborough City Council to revitalise the banks of the city’s “jewel in the crown” by spending £600,000 on a host of improvements at Orton Mere.
Works include new moorings, the re-profiling of the riverbank, replacement of failing river piles and the creation of a fixed landing stage and 48-hour visitor mooring.
Peterborough paddlers will also find canoe access and storage will be provided.
The council has helped fund the project to ensure that as Peterborough grows, access to green spaces and waterways are improved and intends to use sympathetic materials to increase its sustainability.
Paul Separovic, waterways partnership officer for the Enviroment Agency, said: “The Orton Mere project will provide additional and improved facilities for use by Peterborough’s growing population. We want people to enjoy their local countryside and waterways.
“The improvements being made will help Peterborough establish itself as an inland waterways destination, bringing benefits to the city now and for future generations.”
Darren Sharpe, natural and historic environment manager at the council, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Environment Agency to deliver this very worthy scheme.
“It will bring real benefits to river users as well as local residents and businesses and encourage greater use and appreciation of the River Nene, which is one of the city’s hidden gems.”
Navigation restrictions will be in place on the river during the project, which will take until June to complete but it is planned that Orton Lock will re-open for the Easter, from April 22 to May 2.
Environment Agency project manager Will Pearson said: “We apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused to people by the improvement work, but this project will bring a wide range of benefits to boaters, residents, visitors and businesses alike.”