#Bethefirst: Byron sees smoother waters ahead for Embankment boat hire business

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A keen kayak and water lover originally from Bournemouth, Byron Cripps' business venture has hardly been plain sailing after challenges and delays brought in by the pandemic. 

Coming from Bournemouth with an engineering background, he initially set up in the summer of 2020, offering water-lovers of all ages to take to the Nene in paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. 

When Peterborough Matters spoke to Byron last summer he was still taking his equipment home every evening due to a lack of storage facilities.

But after months of delay, Byron has finally set up his permanent base at the Embankment just a few steps away from The Chalkboard Cafe - representing a potential attraction for Peterborough leisure lovers and students at the upcoming ARU Peterborough.

He is now finally feeling buoyant with his chances. 

Talking to Peterborough Matters, Byron said: “I started two years ago with planning process with the council and have finally got here. I have been instructing canoeing for about six years. 

“Throughout my life, I have loved being on the water and fell in love with the Peterborough river. 

“This year, the season started in April and it has been successful so far. 

“We have single kayaks - £15 an hour and then canoes and a new addition for this year is the peddlers. 

“It has been challenging to get this business off the ground. But it’s definitely been a big learning curve and a lot of hard work. 

“I have to say the council has been supportive of it - I am still discussing the rent and other aspects with them for my set-up. 

“Going forward, I do feel positive, especially with all the development planned around the area - I feel like I have come at a crucial point when there’s so much happening in the city to set up the boat hire. 

“I am glad I haven't come too late and I am looking forward to being part of this journey of the city.”