Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

New marina in Wiltshire 'could boost economy by 1m'

A canal boat near Caen Hill locks
The trust says passing boats will have more room once the marina opens

Developers of a new marina near Rowde in Wiltshire say it could support up to 30 jobs and boost the local economy by £1m a year.

Wiltshire Council has approved a 248-berth marina at Lower Foxhangers Farm, about two miles (3.2km) from the Caen Hill flight of locks.

It will be built next year beside an existing small marina and campsite.

Neil Warren, of developers Land and Water Estates, said: "It will boost pubs, shops and restaurants."

'Good news'

Mr Warren calculates that four people will be employed to work at the marina, but says that, if two people are on each boat, that will mean 500 people who will be needing supplies and shopping or eating out locally.

He said: "Research shows that other marinas of a similar size have, directly and indirectly, supported 30 jobs and put £1m into the local economy."

Mike Rodd, general manager of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, said: "It's good news for the local community because of the jobs it will create to look after the boaters."

Dr Rodd said the marina would also improve the environment.

"The Kennet and Avon is one of the most popular canals in the country and there is a shortage of mooring places.

'Spoils the view'

"We see an increasing number of boaters mooring alongside the canal because there have not been enough marina berths.

"It spoils the view when you are in such a wonderful environment to continually pass by moored boats.

"Boats are a critical part of the canal, but there is definite overcrowding.

"This means that it can be hard for boats, especially the wider ones, to navigate the canal.

"Once the new marina has opened, British Waterways will remove some of the nearby canal side moorings."

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