King’s Lynn business leaders back floating restaurant plan

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Business news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Diners could be enjoying a meal under the shade of Lynn’s iconic Custom House if hopes to create a floating restaurant come to fruition.

Restaurant owners along the South Quay are supportive of plans to have a 100ft boat moored in the Outer Purfleet in a bid to add another attraction to the historic waterfront.

West Norfolk Council is looking to work with a restauranteur with a 100ft vessel in a bid to move ahead with an idea first raised in 2006.

The scheme is backed by James Lee, who has re-developed the Hanse House to create The Rathskeller bar and bistro along with an indoor market.

He said: “I would welcome this boat and wouldn’t mind running it myself.

“I would not consider it competition but a help.”

The view is also supported by Malcolm Catlin, who owns Marriott’s Warehouse with Andrew Hornigold.

Mr Catlin said: “If Lynn becomes a good destination for people to travel from further afield to eat and visit, we would see it as a good thing.

“If this could help to attract people to Lynn from Norwich, Cambridge or Ely or even the surrounding villages, that has got to be good.

“We would be in favour of having more boats on the river. It was nice to see boats moored on the pontoons over the Easter weekend.

“Anything that adds an attraction or life on the river and makes the most of the waterfront and heritage is good news for the town.”

Jeannette Goodrich, who owns the Bank House with husband Anthony, says the floating restaurant is a “marvellous idea”.

She said: “We believe very strongly that Lynn needs more restaurants, bars and quality places to go out and eat. We were pioneers along with the Market Bistro, Marriott’s Warehouse and the Hanse House.

“I think the more places Lynn has the more people will perceive it as a fun place to go out.

“The Purfleet is such a lovely location along the Quayside.

“It is probably wasted at the moment.”

The council is advertising the opportunity nationally to find a willing restauranteur.

The idea was first mooted in 2006 by an interested trader but when the scheme did not progress, it began to advertise and has received five or six “serious inquiries” over the last four years.

The council is offering a 10-year lease for entrepreneurs with a well preserved vessel to set up in the Outer Purfleet.

Anyone interested in the opportunity would require planning and licensing consents. Any safety concerns with flooding would be raised during the planning process.

Leader of the council Nick Daubney also feels that it would be a good thing for the town.

He said: “It is a lovely area which does need that kind of enhancement such as a floating restaurant.

“One thing we can all learn is that business tends to breed business. I was glad to see the restaurants on the quayside so busy over the weekend.

“I think a floating restaurant is a good idea.

“It would be good to have some life on the water at the Purfleet.”

n The council is also offering a lease on the former toilet block on Seagate Road, Hunstanton.

The brochure states the 26sqm building could be used as shop, cafe, takeaway or other uses.