Rural Business Case Study: OverWater Marina
“The Skills & Growth Company were able to advise us and to help identify grant funding suitable for our project needs. Their advice and assistance was invaluable.” Dr Janet Maughan, Director
OverWater is an outstanding award winning marina set in the beautiful South Cheshire countryside, close to the popular canal village of Audlem. The business strives to provide a warm, friendly, family run marina that prides itself on excellent customer service and a positive impact on the environment.
The inland marina opened for business in 2010 and features 230 berths, a boat workshop, shop and café, as well as a small certified caravan and motorhome site. Also available on site is boat brokerage operated by Boatfinder Brokerage and boat hire and boat handling courses operated by Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays. The Audlem Lass Boat service (a not for profit volunteer run boat service) is also based at the marina as well as the unique OverWater Wheelyboat service. In 2016 the marina business noted an increasing need and demand for the number of caravan pitches and holiday accommodation. Further research identified a lack of high quality tourism accommodation in the area.
With the identified gap in the market, OverWater seized the opportunity to expand its tourism offer and with the support of the Skills & Growth Company, navigated through the planning system and accessed rural grant funding through the Cheshire Leader Programme to bring forward a new tourism project – a new touring caravan site and bespoke holiday lodges for sale.