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£2m 'park and sail' plan for lake shore
TWO multi-million pound developments look set to transform the Windermere shoreline at Bowness.
Ferry Nab could be unrecognisable as early as next summer if £2m regeneration plans win the green light.
And a £13m project to rebuild the nearby Windermere Steamboat Museum has been given a £9m boost this week.
The proposals for Ferry Nab, put together by South Lakeland District Council, include a new building, hundreds more car park spaces and the lengthening of several jetties.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to improve access to Windermere for everyone, especially families,” said SLDC leader Coun Peter Thornton.
“It will encourage parents and youngsters to take part in boating, biking, and other healthy outdoor activities.
“It will also improve publicly available boat facilities and make Ferry Nab a great example of sustainable development.”
The Steamboat Museum, which has been closed since 2006, is set to re-open by 2015 after receiving a £9.4m Heritage Lottery Fund grant on Tuesday.
“I’m really pleased that the museum has got this huge investment which is richly deserved,” added Mr Thornton.
“I think the potential development of Ferry Nab will complement this.”
The plans for Ferry Nab have been in the pipeline for three years and are set to go before the Lake District National Park Authority in October.
If approved, a new two-storey building will house an outdoor adventure shop, cafe, terrace, wet rooms, showers and toilets.
Three of the area’s five jetties will be lengthened from 29 berths to 128 and one will be turned into a public landing.
The capacity of Braithwaite Fold car park will increase from 383 to 720 spaces and electric bike and car charging points will be installed.
Two mountain bike skills areas will be built and the scheme will link the cycle-way between Windermere Station and Ferry Nab and between Ferry Nab and Grizedale and Wray Castle.The first phase could be open to the public by next year.
“This is a major investment for the council,” said Michael Keane, assistant director of strategic planning. “It’s a vote of confidence for the area because it’s very bold.
“There’s not many councils investing on this scale - we believe it will bring huge benefits to the area.”
Ferry Nab has suffered in recent years following the introduction of the 10mph speed limit on the lake.
Council revenue from one slipway alone dropped from around £50,000 to £1,000 a year – but now council economic development manager Caroline Leigh says the venture should attract people back to the area.
“We want to make this a place people can come and leave their car,” she said.
“It will be somewhere they can use as a base to explore the area on foot, by boat, by bike or however they want.”
The development is expected to raise money for the council through the commercial letting of berths.
Richard Greenwood, head of policy and research at Cumbria Tourism, hailed the plans as ‘a good set of ideas’ and added: “For some time we have felt that more could be done with this area so this is very pleasing to see.”
The development comes just over a year after proposals for a £4m convention centre on the shoreline were approved. The 600-delegate convention and exhibition centre will be built close to the Low Wood Hotel.
Plans to overhaul the nearby Glebe at Bowness are also in the pipeline.
* THE iconic Windermere Steamboat Museum will be re-opened within two years after receiving a £9.4m boost this week.
A total of £13.4m is set to be spent on an overhaul of the shoreline attraction, following the announcement of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant on Tuesday.
The money comes in addition to £3m already raised by the museum’s owners, the Lakeland Arts Trust.
Chief executive Gordon Watson said: “Immediate steps are to complete design development so that construction can start next year.
“We are looking forward to re-opening the museum and wel-coming visitors to enjoy the wonderful collection of boats and take part in new activities and events inspired by the collections and beautiful site.”
Planning permission was granted by the Lake District National Park Authority in June for the old building to be demolished and a new one built with a waterside cafe, wet dock, exhibition centre and workshop, as well as 112 car parking spaces.
New jetties will also enable visitors to arrive by boat or take a trip on an historic launch.
The museum, located just over a mile from Ferry Nab, will re-open in 2015.
South Lakeland District Council leader Coun Peter Thornton said: “Taken together, the plans show a huge amount of confidence in the future of Windermere as an asset for the tourism industry.”
Both projects will aim to encourage tourists and locals to make the most of facilities on and around the water.
Carole Shaw, chair of the Windermere Lake Users Forum, has hailed the announcement.
“The success of the steamboat museum in attracting further funds means we have improved facilities for visitors,” she said.
“It also means more destinations around the lake for people to stop at. I think most lake users would say this is wonderful.”
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron added: “I am incredibly grateful for the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will enable the Windermere Steamboat Museum to become an internationally-renowned addition to Windermere.
“This will grow tourism in Cumbria and create year round, quality employment for the South Lakes.
“I also hope the Ferry Nab project plays a role in our campaign to bring further jobs and investment to the South Lakes.”
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