STEAMER services from a new Lake District jetty could be setting sail by the end of this year.
The new purpose-built jetty on Ullswater, at Aira Point, is expected to be offering cruises to and from Glenridding as early as October.
Ullswater Steamers, run by Kendal’s Wakefield family, and the National Trust have joined forces to bring the fourth jetty to the lake – the first in 50 years.
“This is a big development and an exciting addition,” said Jim Walker, chief executive of Ullswater Steamers.
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“We’re very interested in improving facilities and there’s no better way than travelling while relaxing on the lake.”
With a price tag of around £100,000, the jetty is being built by Staveley-in-Cartmel company Jetties and Moorings and it is hoped it will attract walkers who want to enjoy the western side of the lake.
“It will be able to offer people the opportunity to enjoy a circular trip by going by boat to Glen-ridding then walking back to Aira Point, and vice versa,” said Mr Walker.
“I’m optimistic we can try a trial service in October.”
The heritage boat company already provides services on five vessels from its jetties at Pooley Bridge, Howton and Glenridding which together see 200,000 passengers each year – Mr Walker said he expected a ten per cent increase with the new venture.
There will also be more seasonal employment opportunities as the organisation plans to strengthen its skipper base.
Numbers will not be confirmed until a timetable is drawn up which is expected to be in place next year.