Norfolk

Norwich punting plans proposed along the River Wensum

Punting on the River Cam in Cambridge
Image caption The company behind the plan currently runs punts on the River Cam in Cambridge

Tourism in Norwich could see a boost this summer with plans to introduce punting trips along the River Wensum.

The Canterbury Punting Company has lodged an application with Norwich City Council to offer chauffeured tours around the city.

It includes building a floating pontoon near Norwich Playhouse at St George's Bridge, a wooden ticket office and access to the river via a gangway.

The city council said it expects to make a decision by early June.

The Broads Authority has granted permission for the pontoon on the river, but the final go-ahead remains with the council.

'New visitor experience'

Nick Bond, head of tourism at Visit Norwich, said: "Norwich is an extraordinarily beautiful city from any number of perspectives, not least when viewed from the River Wensum.

"A new initiative to introduce chauffeured punts to the river will offer visitors yet another great reason to enjoy the city and adds further momentum to the rejuvenation of the historic waterway, which includes the recently opened Jarrold Bridge."

Cally Smith, from the Broads Authority, said the river had been "under-used as a recreational resource" and the punts would bring a "completely new visitor experience to Norwich".

The punts are expected to be 21ft (6.4m) in length and carry 12 passengers.

Ashley Dalton, owner of the Canterbury Punting Company, said Norwich seemed an ideal place to expand his business because of its high number of tourists and interesting history.

He said the tours would run during the day and night. He expects to employ about 14 part-time workers.

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