Amazing £4m Marina takes shape in the Leicestershire countryside

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This is the first look at the £4million, 220-boat marina taking shape by the Grand Union Canal at North Kilworth, between Market Harborough and Lutterworth.

Already 50 boat owners have signed up for the 27-acre North Kilworth Marina - even though it doesn’t open until Spring, 2017.

By then managing director Mike Goode promises: “The Midlands’ most exciting and comprehensive new marina.”

Mike, also the man behind Debdale Wharf Marina, just north of Foxton Locks, claims his new, much larger marina will have “the very best of facilities” in “beautifully landscaped surroundings”.

The aim is to be the ideal combination for leisure-time canal boat owners of secluded rural setting and practical one-stop shop.

Boat owners will pay a standard mooring fee of £1,716 a year for a 56-foot narrowboat, plus an optional £600 service package, making a typical annual charge of £2,316 to keep your boat at North Kilworth Marina.

David Orme, the marina’s marketing manager, said: “We’re the top pound of the Leicester section of the canal, which means you get a 20-mile stretch of countryside from here with no locks.

“We’re just off the A4304, 10 minutes from the M1, or there’s a nice bus service from Market Harborough, or there’s convenient on-site parking.

“Local amenities include a golf course, local pubs and restaurants and an open air theatre; there’s plenty to do.

“But it’s also just the quality of the marina. We’ve landscaped and planted hundreds of trees.

“You’re not cheek-by-jowl with other boats here; you’ve got space and beautiful rural surroundings.

“On the practical side, we’ll have everything for you here, from cabinet-making to major engineering.

“And every staging will have electricity and water and high-speed wifi for your boat.”

Walking round the large, private site, which has security guards at night, you see the scale of the venture.

The big canal basins were dug out by AJ Morris Construction in 2014.

They then had to be lined with clay to seal them and prevent water draining away.

In the meantime, the landscaping and tree planting was being done, to make sure the greenery was reasonably well-established, by the time the Marina opened.

Now, some of the basins are filling naturally with rain water, which will be pumped round the marina as the work progresses.

The water levels in the Marina and the neighbouring canal need to be level when the link is finally made.

Workmen are now constructing what David calls the “hard edges” of the marina where the boats will moor, and the staging, which is made of a non-slip fibreglass composite unique in marinas.

“It’s very much a leisure marina,” said David. “And we’re really going to town with the facilities as well as trying to make it feel rural and secluded.

“This has always been Mike’s dream, to have a marina based on what he’s learned in 40 years in the business.”

Contact North Kilworth Marina on 01858 450550.