Could We Maximise Bedford River's Potential?
As part of a drive to enable more residents and visitors to
enjoy the Borough’s River Great Ouse, Bedford Borough Council is
looking to introduce rowing boat, canoe and chauffeured punt hire
from the centre of Bedford. The Council has invited
expressions of interest from suitably experienced operators to run
a commercial service from the steps by Town Bridge opposite the
junction of Newnham Road and The Embankment.
Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson, said: “The
river really is one of the Borough’s greatest assets, and I want us
to make the most of it as a destination for residents and visitors
to Bedford to enjoy. By enabling more leisure use of the
river in the centre of town we can increase opportunities for
residents to enjoy their river and make Bedford an even more
attractive destination, drawing in more visitors and boosting the
local economy. We have worked closely with the Bedford River
Partnership on proposals to open up the river and its potential
benefits to the wider community while preserving all current uses.
There is real enthusiasm for reintroducing punts and other leisure
craft, which were a common sight in Bedford in the past.”
Martyn Pearson, Chair of the Bedford River
Partnership, said: “We are looking to reintroduce leisure
facilities on the river and have been working in partnership with
Bedford Borough Council, local businesses and individuals to
attract prospective operators. We passionately believe this venture
will maximise the potential of the river, which is widely
acknowledged as Bedford’s ‘jewel in the crown’.”
At this stage, the council is calling for
suitably experienced operators to express their interest to the
Property Services Department, by Friday 11th February 2011.