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“I don’t see why we can’t have punting on the river!” Vision to transform tourism on Spalding’s River Welland





Punting on the Welland could be a pastime for residents and visitors if one man’s plan gets the green light.

South Holland district councillor James Le Sage has shared his vision of opening up the river in Spalding to boost tourism. The suggestion comes as details emerged of a new outdoor music festival at Ayscoughfee Hall as part of a drive to make better use of the town’s assets.

Ideas floated to make the River Welland an attraction included moorings to allow boat trippers to spend a couple of days in the area, day boats for hire and even punting, a popular experience in nearby Cambridge.

Coming soon? One councillor dreams of Cambridge-style punts on the River Welland. Our mock-up shows what that could look like.
Coming soon? One councillor dreams of Cambridge-style punts on the River Welland. Our mock-up shows what that could look like.

“We have a great river through this town and a water taxi which is a great asset,” he told Spalding Town Forum last Tuesday (January 30).

“We have no real moorings to talk of where people could moor up. I see no reason why we don’t have moorings; they don’t have to be residential, but could be open 48 hours.”

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Coun Le sage admitted his plan would need the co-operation of river authorities, the drainage board and Environment Agency, but said he would be ‘happy to work myself with anybody who wants to get involved to try to open the river up’.

Coun James Le Sage
Coun James Le Sage

Lincoln’s Brayford Wharf and Birmingham’s Canal Old Line are examples of bustling bards and restaurants being situated around waterways.

While Spalding has a few buildings with relationships with the river, such as Chain Bridge Forge and The Moorings pub, Coun Le Sage believes more could be done to encourage business along the Welland.

“I don’t see why we cant have punting on the river, why we can’t have a slip so people can day launch boats,” he continued.

The Brayford Wharf in Lincoln. Photo: Google
The Brayford Wharf in Lincoln. Photo: Google

“if you look at a lot of towns and cities, people congregate where there are boats.

“We’ve got a great asset through this town centre.

“When you go on the water taxi you get a completely different view of Spalding - you look up you see fantastic buildings.

Birmingham has a bustling bar and restaurant scene based around its canals
Birmingham has a bustling bar and restaurant scene based around its canals

“I truly think we’re not making enough of it and need to do more.”

What do you think? Could Spalding become known for punting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...



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