Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows saw a special Royal visitor drop in to officially open Nene Park’s new facilities.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was welcomed by Nene Park Trust Chairman Jon Marsden on Tuesday July 8 and Chief Executive James McCulloch who led the tour of the facilities and activities based in Lakeside @ Ferry Meadows.


The Royal visit followed a £2.5 million investment from Nene Park Trust and a year of extensive works to the old watersports centre building and surrounding landscape – which we think look fanatastic!

Lakeside provides a hub for activity and relaxation within Ferry Meadows as the home for Nene Outdoors, a new watersports and outdoor activity venture, Rutland Cycling for cycle hire and Lakeside Kitchen & Bar, a contemporary dining and function venue at the Park.


As well as introducing new faces and facilities this great new complex is also home to Peterborough Sailability, Peterborough Adapted Cycling Scheme operated by Vivacity, Lakeside Sailing Club, Nene Bowmen and, more recent addition, Packers Canoe Club. These groups are working closely with the new businesses and the Trust to provide a variety of leisure opportunities for all abilities and backgrounds.

Whilst at the centre, Her Royal Highness met with staff and service users of the Vivacity Adapted Cycling scheme before watching a Peterborough Sailability session and officially naming their new Lugger boat ‘Blue Bird’ in her capacity as Patron of RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Foundation.

Brian Rowley, Chairman of Peterborough Sailability, said – “I am very proud that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has visited us today, to recognise what we have achieved so far, and to encourage us to provide sailing for many more people with a disability in the future. Peterborough Sailability has given back to me the opportunity – taken away by my decreasing mobility – to sail, race and again have excellent exercise.”


Her Royal Highness went on to meet a range of Nene Park Trust Board members, staff, volunteers, tenants and friends of the centre and Park before the visit culminated in a formal opening of Lakeside with the unveiling of a commemorative stone and plaque at its entrance in front of a large group of excited guests, children from the nearby St Botolphs Church of England Primary School and the general public.

James McCulloch, Chief Executive of Nene Park Trust said – “We were honoured and delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to Ferry Meadows and the new Lakeside facility on such a beautiful morning, and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the great range of community activities now available from this new £2.5m centre.”

Photos: Chris Lowndes

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