A FAMILY-RUN marina has been given the green light for two upgrades to help it meet the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Oakwood Marina, off Davenham Road, has secured planning permission for a new slipway leading to the marina and an expanded canopy for the canopy.

In his planning application, owner Nigel Wilder said the slipway would 'enable boats to be safely launched and removed from the water'.

He told Cheshire West and Chester Council that the business is facing the 'double impact' of Covid-19 as well as HS2's anticipated arrival in mid Cheshire.

Mr Wilder added: "We are having to look at every opportunity to sustain our family business, maintain employment for current staff and potentially provide sustainable new employment.

"The provision of a slipway will give rise to opportunities in support of our existing business activity and help us to grow our associated leisure activities."

Mr Wilder said the slipway would support small private boats, facilitate outdoor activity for schools and provide access for emergencies or repairs.

Meanwhile, the expanded canopy will provide more space for social distancing, Mr Wilder told CWAC.

He said: "We are now heavily reliant on our external seating, which is weather dependant.

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"Our business is at a critical time, we missed much of our peak trading period that carries us through a normal lean winter and now face a gloomy winter where our expensive inside space designed specifically as a typical tea room is next to worthless."

The Canal and River Trust and Davenham Parish Council raised no objections to the scheme, while CWAC officers were satisfied the changes 'would not impact on local amenity'.