Campaign woos boaters to ‘city of the Broads’

A campaign to promote Norwich as the city of the Broads was fittingly launched yesterday on board a boat.

A 40ft cruiser from the Silverline yard in Brundall took a delegation of heritage and tourism leaders on a trip too rarely enjoyed by boating holidaymakers - along the River Wensum right into the heart of the city.

Silverline boss Colin Dye said too many customers headed off down the River Yare towards Reedham hardly sparing Norwich a single thought.

'We want people to use the whole river network of the Broads which is certainly doable in a week,' he said.

Nick Bond, head of tourism at Visit Norwich, said the city and the Broads were both unique assets and linking them more strongly was a 'very attractive proposition'.

He said: 'We will be looking at initiatives to draw people into the city and aiming to communicate that in the national press. One intriguing possibility is people using cruisers as accommodation during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.'

Alec Hartley, chairman of the Wensum River Parkway project, sees a Broads tourism drive as part of the initiative's wider aims of opening up the river.

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He said: 'Unlike Cambridge and many other cities, Norwich has little regular river traffic. The Wensum, which flows within metres of the tourism and leisure attractions of one of England's most historic cities, generates little in the way of boating business, activity or enjoyment.'

Adrian Clarke, the Broads Authority's senior waterways and recreation officer, said more needed to be made of the fact that 'the Broads is the only national park with a cathedral city in its area'.

Broads Society chairman Robin Godber said the attractions of Norwich could be used to boost trade throughout the southern Broads.

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