Longboat and former floating restaurant removed from river by crane
- Credit: Ellie Hurry-Palmer
A community watched as its former floating restaurant was removed from the town’s river, as part of plans to make the area more attractive.
The 56ft long boat formerly known as Jolios restaurant was removed from the Little Ouse River in Thetford’s town centre on Wednesday.
This comes after the boat went up for auction on June 16 with Auction House East Anglia and was subsequently purchased by Breckland Council - which planned to have it removed and scrapped.
A spokesman for the council said: “Breckland Council acquired the riverboat at Riverside Walk and have removed it as part of our ongoing work to support, regenerate and enhance the town.
“This has already included bringing new businesses to the town centre, improvements to Butten Island and Spring Walk, making it a more attractive and accessible place to visit.
They continued: “We took the opportunity to take direct action after listening to the views of the local community and businesses, who found the deteriorating boat to be an eyesore.
“Taking this proactive action will enhance this beautiful stretch of the river and support our continued efforts. More will be outlined at Cabinet meeting on September 20.”
The boat was moored on the river overlooking Thetford’s riverside complex and a few steps from the town centre shops.
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It included two levels including an indoor seating area, kitchen and cloakroom with an upper deck with bar area.
Breckland councillor for the Thetford Burrell ward, Terry Jermy, said he supported the decision to remove the boat which had fallen into disrepair and become an eyesore in the town.
He added: “A lot of time and effort being put into improving Thetford's river corridor - effort which is long overdue.
“Our river corridor is one of our best assets locally and it needs our support and investment. Sadly, the boat next to Thetford riverside had fallen into disrepair and had become an eyesore, detracting from the view of the river and becoming a real safety issue.
“I fully support Breckland Council's decision to purchase the boat at auction and resolve this issue.”