A NEW leisure boat marina in Stratford is set to provide an economic boost to the town.
The 250-berth Shakespeare Marina, based near the Seven Meadows Road bridge, has officially opened after many years in the planning pipeline.
It has been created by developer Geomac Marinas and will be administered by the Avon Navigation Trust.
The marina will serve boaters passing through the heart of England, via a mixture of canals and rivers, as part of the Avon ring. The ring provides passage through Evesham, Tewkesbury, Worcester and Birmingham as well as access to the national network.
Geomac spokesman Neil Warren said: “Marinas are about people not just boats.
“This exclusive leisure boat marina provides customers the chance to moor their boats close to a popular tourist destination whilst providing access to some spectacular cruising routes.”
The state-of-the-art marina – a ten minute walk from the town centre – benefits from a wide range of facilities, including a shower block with a laundry, a service quay with fuel and pump out, plus service pedestals for water and electricity for each berth.
The basin is designed to look like a natural water body. It is complemented by floating jetties. with non-slip decking. The jetties will rise with any change in water levels.
Zones in the marina have each been named after well-known Shakespearean characters such as Cleopatra, King Lear and Othello.
Clive Matthews, chief executive of the Avon Navigation Trust, says: “Shakespeare Marina will offer high-quality mooring facilities at the top end of the river on a flood safe site and we know from talking to boat users that there is a demand for this type of facility in the Stratford area.
Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson also welcomed the official opening of the marina,
which has been talked about since the 1970s.
Coun Jefferson said: “The Shakespeare Marina is yet another significant investment in the tourist infrastructure of the town.
“It has been a long time coming as planning permission was granted about 15 years ago.
“The wait has been worth it.”
The official opening was carried out by actor and canal enthusiast Timothy West who has trod the boards at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford many times, and who more recently has become known for presenting the Great Canal Journeys series on Channel 4 alongside his wife Prunella Scales.
Visit www.shakespearemarina.com for more details.