River Forth pontoon becomes latest urban attraction

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Rowing boats and kayaks can now ply the waters of the Forth from a 30-metre long landing stage - making the river a key local feature for the first time since the 1940’s.

That’s the pitch from Falkirk’s next door neighbour Stirling, which is making up for the lack of a canal with a scheme aimed at making the Forth “a key feature” for the city and, by extension, its visitors.

Both recreational and commercial boat operators can now book to use the pontoon online via www.stirling.gov.uk/pontoon .

More than any mere jetty the state-of-the-art feature and access walkway is designed to rise and fall with the tide, and is also wheelchair compliant.

The area’s environment convener, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “This pontoon is an important step in bringing about the rejuvenation of the River Forth and integrating it back into the city again as a key asset.

“Up until the 1940s, ships were a common sight tied to the docks along Shore Road, but the river has been an untapped resource until now.

“We want to show that Stirling is far more than just our historic castle and this development will make it a massive draw for residents and tourists by offering river trips and creating an alternative gateway into the city for leisure vessels visiting us by river.”

But the pontoon is reckoned to be just the first stage in a wider bid to create a River Park through the heart of Stirling, making most of the tourism potential of a rejuvenated waterfront.

The £270,000 project cost was met with £153,000 awarded through the Coastal Community Fund and the remainder from local authority funds.

Meanwhile at the fast-developing Winnchburgh urban development plans are underway to create a 20-berth marina in the heart of the town, in a move that will allow residents with their own boats to walk straight to their own moorings.