BOATS are starting to moor up in Northwich now a new marina is officially open.

Northwich Quay, part of the regeneration of Hayhurst Quay, was opened by Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans on Thursday, on the same day the neighbouring Waitrose store opened its doors to customers.

Neil Warren, director of Land and Water Estates, the company behind Northwich Marina, said: “This development has not been for the faint-hearted, particularly in this economic climate.”

He praised the ‘can-do’ attitude of everyone involved in its success, including solicitors, banks and the Canal and River Trust.

He said: “This is a fitting testament to the centre of Northwich and will complement Waitrose, our neighbours.

“The new river footpath and open frontage will also benefit the town and its people, and I hope it will be a catalyst for the regeneration and renaissance of the town.

“It’s marvellous that the river, which has played such a significant part in Northwich’s history to take salt away from the area, will play such a significant part in bringing people back to the area by the water.”

Northwich Quay has berths and facilities for 50 boats on the River Weaver and is located between Town Bridge and Hayhurst Bridge.

The wider regeneration of Hayhurst Quay includes the new Waitrose and public spaces, and is also set to feature McCarthy and Stone extra care apartments and a restaurant.

Mr Evans said: “I’m delighted that the banks have seen fit to join you in this investment by lending the money.

“If you have ideas and a good business plan, then lending will take place.

“I think we have turned a corner as the town of Northwich and hope it will be the start of many new developments in the years to come.”

John Tackley, chairman of the Weaver Navigation Society, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see it all happening.

“It’s one of the first positive steps that Northwich has taken in the past 25 years and, hopefully, it’s the first of many and the river is the start of our revitalisation.”