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10 November 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 10 November 2011, 06:08
A major project to improve boating facilities on the River Nene and bring visitors into Peterborough has been completed.
The occasion is being marked with events today (Thursday 10 November) with the Environment Agency and Peterborough City Council at new moorings and canoe access at Orton Lock, Orton.
The project, which took five months to complete, has included re-profiling the riverbank, replacing damaged piles and creating a fixed landing stage and 48-hour visitor mooring. Canoe access, a portage and new slalom posts have also been put in place.
Paul Separovic, Environment Agency Waterways Partnership Officer told Heart "The project at Orton Mere has really helped to breathe new life into an area of the river close to the city centre.
People deserve to be able to enjoy their local waterways and the new facilities at Orton will help Peterborough establish itself as an inland waterways destination.
This should help to support the local economy and nearby tourist attractions by drawing visiting boaters into the city and bring benefits now and in the future."
Local canoe clubs, the Nene Valley Railway, Nene Park Trust, Peterborough Yacht Club, the contractor Team Van Oord and Halcrow will be joining representatives of Peterborough City Council and the Environment Agency to formally launch the new facilities on Thursday, 10 November.
Mr Separovic added: "By working together with Peterborough City Council to encourage greater use and appreciation of one of the city’s hidden gems, we hope to help the River Nene take its rightful place as the jewel in the city’s crown."
The new mooring and landing stage has been constructed from the most up-to-date materials to maximise the lifespan of the facilities and minimise maintenance costs.
Peterborough City Council helped fund the project as part of a package to help ensure that as the city grows, access to green-spaces and waterways are improved.
The Environment Agency currently has 1,241 registered boaters on the River Nene and 5,870 across all its navigations in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire. Projects such as Orton Mere make navigating the river easier, safer and more enjoyable.
By increasing the provision of riverside facilities, the Enviromment Agency told us they want to encourage more people form a wider background onto our rivers and entice visiting boaters off the river and into Peterborough."
A public opening will take palce at Orton Lock, Orton Mere between 1 and 3pm today.