'Essential' scheme to upgrade King's Lynn pontoons defended
Improved facilities are essential to help encourage leisure sailors to use Lynn’s pontoons, council leaders have insisted.
The moorings on the South Quay have been recently extended and were identified as a priority for investment from the £25 million Towns Fund cash injection outlined last month.
But that move was criticised during West Norfolk Council’s meeting on Thursday.
Independent councillor Jo Rust asked: “Who agreed this priority? We already make a loss on the pontoons, which is now even bigger as they’ve been extended, so who has agreed that we spend even more money on a loss-making facility?”
However, environment portfolio holder Paul Kunes suggested the financial figures for the moorings did not take account of the money that visitors using them would spend with other businesses in the town during their stay.
He also highlighted the recent launch of a business offering commercial fishing trips and seal watching expeditions from the pontoons as an example of their potential.
He said: “We can now use them for commercial purposes.
“Since the early part of the year there’s been several rigid inflatable boats using the pontoons.
“They have come in with an awful lot of money, in the tens of thousands of pounds.
“There’s a lot more activity on the pontoons than there were and we’re hopeful it will begin to wipe its face if you like.
“But what is certain is that if we don’t put facilities in, leisure craft are less likely to come here.
“All indications are that it is an essential part of any marina to have onshore facilities for people to use and that’s what we’re proposing to do.”