Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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This article More than a Mooring - Burton Waters is the copyright of Jim Shead - The thirteenth of a regular series of articles on marinas and boatyards. First published in Waterways World October 2004.
Burton Waters Marina
Burton Waters Marina is part of a brand new development on the River Witham not far from the historic city of Lincoln. There are fifteen acres of water space here with easy access to the sea through Boston and the inland waterways system via the Trent. The marina is a family business run by Malcolm Cox and his son Adam.
Malcolm Cox was a Leicestershire farmer who also worked in marketing. When Adam left school he wanted to join the family business but having looked closely at the financial implications of this they found that the business would not provide enough income for them both. Having found a buyer for the farm they looked for a new business and having long been a boating family they decided to try to find a marina, hoping to turn their hobby into a commercial concern. They found that the owner of Lincoln Marina was looking to sell and in 1988 they bought the business based at Brayford Pool in the centre of Lincoln.
Having operated Lincoln Marina for a few years they decided to expand and knew of the proposed Burton Waters development which needed a marina to get planning permission. The developer for this that was a friend of Malcolm. Initially there was opposition to the plans from Lincoln Council who thought a new marina would conflict with Lincoln Marina therefore the Cox's support for the scheme, as owners of Lincoln Marina, was a great boost for the development. Even so the whole planning procedure took about 12 years and in the process gave the marina one of its distinguishing features - an entrance lock. This was a requirement of the Environment Agency to protect the new properties from flooding. When water is at normal level on the Fossdyke the gates are kept open at both ends of the lock.
The marina was dug out in 2001 and about six months later Malcolm and Adam Cox arrived to start building the moorings and sales office ready for the marina opening in June 2002. They still run Lincoln Marina and now at Burton Waters there are plans for 400 berths, including 200 berths that will be allocated to the properties on the housing development. They also have 6,000 square feet of workshops, which are a big part of the business. The main workshop has three bays for boats and above it is a canopy and upholstery workshop above that is run as a separate business. For moving boats between the water and the workshops they have a 45-ton hoist and a boat cradle for slipping boats. They plan to get a larger slipping cradle for handling narrowboats.
Although the marina is in the middle of wide cruising waters and most of their moorings are at present used by cruisers Burton Waters Marina has started building narrowboats. They have fitted-out and sold one narrowboat that they exhibited last year at the Crick Boat Show. Their fit-out was well received but the steelwork was not so they are basing their next narrowboat on a Jonathan Wilson shell. They have a lot of experience in fitting out fibre-glass cruisers and they will be using some of the best ideas from this area in their narrowboats. As a start they are aiming to produce one or two high quality narrowboats a year.
The whole Burton Waters development is still under construction with new shops, restaurants, more housing and an extra boat basin still to be completed to add to the pub and a health and leisure centre already on site. The marina moorings are full at present but new pontoons are being added. They also plan to extend the chandlery shop which is doing better than their Lincoln chandlery close to the city centre. At present their facilities include a launderette, showers, pump-out and family room. In the future they are looking to build a club house for moorers. Their brokerage business is also expanding and they have recently taken on a new salesman taking the total marina staffing to about fifteen.
Security is a key feature of the site with 24 hour security staff based in the distinctive circular building next to the marina offices. The windows of this building give a clear view over the site and inside pictures from CCTV cameras are monitored. This security centre covers the whole development and controls access to the residential areas as well as making moorers feel safer.
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