By Audlem Webteam - 11th March 2006 10:02am
(The website link that was here no longer works) Narrowboats are chugging back to their glory days after 20 years of public investment in the canal network. Audlem's position on the best stretch of one of England's finest canals could mean ever increasing numbers of visitors.
Such has been the increase in boat ownership that there is a national shortage of moorings. British Waterways has announced a £150 million programme to build 250 marinas in the next 10 years. The organsiation, funded by the Government, wants private companies to help build up to 11,000 new berths.
Bristish Waterways officials believe boating will become more popular because of the general rise in leisure spending; the growing importance of the 'grey pound' with over 80% of narrowboaters over 50, and because of the £2 billion spent on canal regeneration over the past 20 years.
Curiously, while private ownership is increasing, boating firms have struggled and holiday boats for hire have fallen from 1,300 to 1,000 in the last decade. There are, however, 25,000 privately owned boats and the numbers are growing steadily.
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