Plain sailing in the first year for Ridge Hill Enterprises at Stamford Park boating lake

BUOYED by a splendid summer, Ridge Hill Enterprises have just completed their first full year operating the boating lake at Stamford Park.

The voluntary group, that took over the running of the boating lake in April 2017, have been delighted with the numbers that have taken to the waters.

Karen Rees-Unwin, Ridge Hill Enterprises’ managing director, said: “It has been a fantastic year in which we have been really busy.

“The warm weekends helped and we have had really good attendances, averaging 100 each day.

“Visitors have come from all over Tameside and Manchester and they have also been of all aged.”

The boating lake has been opened from noon to 5pm each Saturday and Sunday from May to October as well as a couple of days each week during the summer school holidays.

Rob Bishop is a full-time employee while volunteers and casual workers provide staffing. They have also been helped by youngsters doing work experience during the summer holidays.

Aspirations Victoria, a group with special educational needs, also carry out work at the boating lake and links have also been established with local schools.

Ridge Hill Enterprises are also using £13,000 of grants from the Angling Trust to make improvements for anglers who fish at the boating lake and nearby Chadwick Dam.

The money is being used to rebuild platforms for anglers and to help develop both pieces of water used by members of the angling club that number around 40.

Karen added they are hoping to get more grants to get the elderly and young involved in angling as well as further developing the infrastructure.

After Tameside Council ceased to run the boating there was another operator for a spell before Ridge Hill Enterprises took over and re-opened it for the latter part of the 2017 season.

Ridge Hill Big Local Enterprises, of which Karen is vice-chair, has also been proactive with between 40 and 60 children attending their holiday club.

Karen added the next step is to put on regular community events and also outreach ones including visits to the boating lake.

Ridge Hill Big Local Enterprises is in year four of a 10-year programme that is funded by the National Lottery.

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