Pleasure boat could return to Roundhay Park

Caption: Waterloo Lake at Roundhay Park could once again be the home to a pleasure boat.

A popular visitor attraction dating back to the Victorian era could be making a return to the lakes of a much loved Leeds park.

As part of details revealed last week, Leeds City Council are inviting offers from companies who may be interested in operating a pleasure launch cruise boat at Roundhay Park.

If a suitable operator can be found to deliver the project, this would mark a historic return to the park of the visitor pleasure boat, which first appeared at the park in the late 19th century.

The first tourist boat to grace Roundhay Park was the steamboat Maid of Athens, which took tourists on trips around Waterloo Lake. Following decommissioning and reports of the steamboat been sunk in the deepest part of the lake, the Maid of Athens was replaced by an electric launch the Mary Gordon in 1900, which ran until 1923.

As part of the tendering process, a licence to provide a new land train at Roundhay is also available, while in what will be a first, operators can also bid to manage a land train at Temple Newsam Park.

Operators have the opportunity to bid for one, two or all three licences, with quotation documents available by accessing the following: www.yortender.co.uk and searching for YORE-97YKPN (Trains) or YORE-97YKTW (Pleasure launch).

Cllr Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council's executive member for the environment said:

“It is exciting to think that Roundhay Park could once again be the home to a visitor pleasure boat on one of its lakes.

“Tourist boats at the park date back originally to the Victorian era, and I am sure the attraction, along with the chance of a new land train at Roundhay will be a big hit if suitable operators can be found.

“The council is also investigating the possibility of introducing for the first time a land train at Temple Newsam Park, and it would be fantastic to see this aim also come to fruition.”

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Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk