Plans for new pleasure boat for town have been met “enthusiastically”

The John Bunyan pleasure boat in Bedford.Photo is kind permission of the B&MKWT.

The John Bunyan pleasure boat in Bedford.Photo is kind permission of the B&MKWT. - Credit: Archant

A project aimed at providing the town of St Neots with its own pleasure boat has been launched.

St Neots town councillor, Paul Davies, headed up a meeting at the Priory Centre on September 18 where he presented his plans which he says were met "enthusiastically".

Representatives from the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary's, the Great Ouse Boating Association, Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust and the Ladybird Boat Trust attended and gave Cllr Davies advice on setting up a charitable trust and running the venture.

Cllr Davies said it was decided that the venture was "viable" and he is now looking for volunteers.

"The next steps will be to advertise the project further to obtain more volunteers, hold a further meeting where volunteers can sign up for specific responsibilities, and commence crew and boatmaster training as soon as is practicable."


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He added: "If all goes to plan, it is hoped to have the boat in service by the spring of 2021.

"The St Neots' riverside location is often referred to as the town's "jewel in the crown" and so an adaptable, large pleasure boat, similar to the John Bunyan would be a great asset to the town, its residents and its many visitors."

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A charitable trust will be set up and trustees will be appointed who will set about determining the purchase price and running costs and also identify sources of funding, which could include low-cost loans, citizen shares and sponsorship.

Some of the 29 people who attended the meeting were experienced boaters who were able to contribute ideas and information.

Cllr Davies is hoping more volunteers will come forward and also those who can crew the boat and help to market the project.

Cllr Davies also revealed some of the detail for the venture.

He said: "The boat's internal configuration will be adaptable and large enough to provide a wide variety of uses and functions such as two-hour morning and afternoon family trips, all-day charters for corporate and business events, evening trips for family events, fish and chip suppers, discos, music cruises, and anniversaries and birthdays."

If you would like to get involved or volunteer for any of the tasks, contact Cllr Davies at: paul.davies910@gmail.com.

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