When will a floating restaurant be coming to King’s Lynn?
- Credit: Ian Burt
The businessman behind plans for a floating restaurant now hopes it will become a reality by the spring.
Roger Clarke-Payton, from Stoke Ferry, hoped to have the 150ft sailing ship in the Purfleet by the end of last June.
West Norfolk council agreed to drive pilings into the bed of the historic dock to moor the vessel after officials said it would help revitalise the town's waterfront.
But today, the council said: 'We are still in liaison with the investor, awaiting confirmation that he is in a position to both buy and operate the vessel.
'In addition we are negotiating the price of works to be undertaken following a tender exercise.
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'This would be a back-to-back arrangement, meaning works will not be undertaken until investors are in place and a formal lease signed.'
Stoke Ferry-based businessman Roger Clarke-Payton was in talks with the authority for two years about bringing tall ship the Willem Barrentsz to Lynn.
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Last May, Mr Clarke-Payton said he needed to raise the money which had been pledged by investors and have the ship surveyed before she could sail over from Holland.
Mr Clarke-Payton said the project was 'still highly active' and he hoped to have the ship on station by spring as long as investors were 'still in place'.
'It's still very much on, I still very much want to do it,' he said. 'The problem is raising money on a ship isn't easy.' If plans go ahead the three-masted vessel, which was built in 1931, will moor in the middle of the Purfleet.
The ship, which will be renamed the Merchant Adventurer in honour of Lynn's trading past, was converted into a luxury vessel for day trips in 1988. She can currently accommodate 100 people on board.
As well as seating on board, the ship will also serve tables and chairs on the quayside and what is currently a raised performance area.
There have been concerns regarding the size of the vessel and the potential for people living around Common Staithe Square to suffer from noise nuisance.
A floating bar and restaurant on board a former Dutch sailing barge is one of the focal points of the picturesque harbour along the coast at Wells.