We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Financial Assessment

Configuring the layout of your water space to optimise mooring income is a critical step. Turning and manoeuvring circles and access routes to the entrance and facilities need to be carefully planned. The viability of the project will be very sensitive to the number of berths you can accommodate so it is worth spending time making sure you get this right. A pontoon supplier may be willing to provide an early indicative layout and basic costs.

Estimating annual income

Once you have an indication of the potential mooring capacity of the site it is fairly simple to estimate the potential gross income from moorings.

  • Set the mooring rate: you need to research local mooring rates to determine the rate per metre you could charge. Refer to the Getting Started - Assessing potential revenue and viability page of this website for more guidance. You may set different rates for different types of moorings at the site.
  • Determine the occupancy: calculate the gross mooring capacity in metres and make allowances for occupancy rates and voids. Check the link below for the average boat length for the waterway on which your marina will be located.
  • Multiply the rate by the occupancy to produce a gross income figure. Mooring fees are subject to VAT.

Estimating annual costs

You will need to develop realistic annual running costs such as staff costs, annual and periodic maintenance, utility costs, insurance, rates etc. You will also need a Network Access Agreement with us to connect your marina or mooring basin to our network. The annual payment for this is currently calculated at 9% of the gross revenue potential, based on the site's agreed mooring capacity. More information on this agreement can be found in the Our Application Process - Legal Agreements page of this website.

Development costs and viability

The scale of the development and the attributes of the site will obviously determine the cost of the scheme. The cost of fees, studies etc are usually at least an additional 20% - 30% of the cost of the scheme. Larger schemes and marinas which include other income producing activities such as boat sales, repairs, hire boats, retail sales cafes etc will require more sophisticated financial models. If you can calculate the indicative gross development cost, comparing this with projected income will give an early indication of viability. Prospective marina developers should undertake their own research into the viability of their proposal and should take professional advice to determine the suitability of a site, likely development costs and the likelihood of securing a successful planning consent. Be aware however that these will vary substantially according to local conditions, so you should not proceed without your own local research.


Your scheme may be eligible for certain grants, depending on its location, site conditions, method of construction and what you are aiming to develop. Criteria will apply and grants are always subject to funds available. The Local Authority may have a grants/regeneration/small business advisor who should be able to advise you.

In rural areas the government has grant schemes aimed at helping farmers adapt to changing markets and develop new business opportunities. See links below for more details. It is also worth checking with other regeneration agencies.

Useful references and links

DEFRA www.defra.gov.uk

Scotland and Wales www.direct.gov.uk

Regional Development Agency www.dti.gov.uk

Last date edited: 14 December 2015