A PONTOON has officially opened at Barons Quay, bringing further moorings to the town centre.

The £175,000 project, involving Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Canal and River Trust, aims to open up Northwich’s waterways as part of the wider town regeneration.

The pontoons are 92 metres in length, bringing up to four boats at a time to the heart of the town centre.

Cllr Brian Clarke, CWAC cabinet member for economic development, said: “Northwich has always turned its back over the years on its biggest asset – the river.

“We always wanted to make the river one of the shining features of the town and it has always been an aspiration to get boats coming from places like Anderton Boat Lift down to Barons Quay, stopping there and bringing life into the area.”

Nicola Lewis Smith, enterprise manager with the Canal & River Trust, added: “Every year we welcome thousands of boats to Cheshire’s waterways. These new visitor moorings will be a great addition to Northwich’s offering for boaters and, added to the Anderton Boat Lift and the Lion Salt Works, they give another compelling reason for visiting the area. For many years, the street layout and local architecture meant the town turned its back on the river. Now, with the new Barons Quay development, the River Weaver is rightly taking centre stage as a wonderful focal point. Enabling boats to moor in this area is a win, win for everyone. Boaters will help the local economy and their colourful narrowboats add to the attractive town centre waterway scene.”