MERCIA Marina’s new £1.7 milliion Boardwalk development will now include six floating businesses operating from moored canal boats at the 74-acre beauty spot.
South Derbyshire District Council has approved plans to create pontoon space in front of the forthcoming development in Findern Lane, Willington, to accommodate up to six commercial moorings.
These floating traders will be in addition to the six retail units, waterside pub-restaurant and four offices that are already nearing completion within The Boardwalk building itself.
The waterfront development, which is likely to start trading in September following interior fit-outs, will include an outdoor events space, a sensory garden, new nature trails and free parking.
Robert Neff, general manager at Mercia Marina, said: “The approval of these six commercial moorings could not have come at a better time. Building work on The Boardwalk is almost complete and so it’s a perfect opportunity for potential retailers to get a true picture of what a magnificent place this could be to run a business.”
Mr Neff said that interest in the remaining shop and office units had increased in the last few weeks as the building neared completion, but he would welcome new approaches from any other interested parties.
He said: “The moorings are ideal for smaller businesses – such as those making or selling local crafts – due to the lower rental costs. They will help to further increase the vibrancy and character of the marina when The Boardwalk opens, creating additional attractions for our existing boaters, lodge owners and new visitors.”
A floating estate agent is already in the process of agreeing terms with Mercia Marina for one of its newly approved commercial mooring spots.
The Boardwalk, which was devised primarily as a service for the marina’s boaters and holiday lodge owners, will contain a pub-restaurant over two floors, with both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as six ground floor shop units and four office suites on the upper floor.