Plans for a Sleaford river boat service taking shape

Cogglesford Mill.
Cogglesford Mill.

Plans to launch a river trip boat as a visitor attraction are taking shape, although those behind it admit it may be a while off becoming a reality.

Plans to launch a river trip boat as a visitor attraction are taking shape, although those behind it admit it may be a while off becoming a reality.

Sleaford Navigation Trust is responding to suggestions by the Sleaford Regeneration Group to run such a service on the River Slea between Eastgate Green and Cogglesford Mill to enhance the attraction for visitors to the town.

Steve Hayes from the Trust said: “It is probably the tail end of this year before we can get any definite quotes into an application for funding.

“It would be a small narrowboat-type vessel similar to what other canal societies use and would be a 12 seater to comply with regulations.”

He said it would be nice as something to keep visitors here for longer. They could be dropped off and walk back or buy a return ticket.

It would be manned by volunteers and tend to be seasonal over the summer months, said Mr Hayes, although there was scope to run a ‘Santa Special’.

He said it would be steel-hulled, weighing a few tons and would be removed from the water every few years for maintenance but would otherwise remain moored in the river.

He believed the group could tap into LEADER grant funding via the county council designed to help rural enterprises and tourism.

Mr Hayes added: “We are currently preparing a couple of bids for work in South Kyme. Once they are accepted we will put an application in for the boat, which could be in the autumn with the boat probably being built during 2017 to be ready late summer 2017, depending on whether we can get a slot with the boat builders.”

Their current projects would see two landing stages put in place at South Kyme for use by canoes and boats. The second part of the project, known as Destination South Kyme’ would see a turning area created at the village to make weekend trips by boats more convenient. If funding is successful, work could be completed by the autumn.