Millhouses Park boats Sheffield: This is when boating lake is set to reopen

Boats are set to return to Milhouses Park – but they will look different from before.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 2:46 pm

The boating lake at the park on Abbeydale Road has been empty since Sheffield Council ended the licence of the previous operator, Pullins, just before Easter.

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End of an era as Pullin family ends 12 years operating boats at Millhouses Park,...

The company had run the boats at the site for the previous 12 years.

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The boating lake in Millhouses Park. Picture Scott Merrylees

Now it has been revealed that the new operator is planned to start from Saturday May 7 – just over three weeks after the former operator finished.

And they will be using new ‘swan boats’ rather than the boats which had previously been on the water, which will look different to those previously operating there.

Sheffield Council, which issues the licences, said: “The lake will soon be home to brand new Swan boats, which following final operational plans, should be in place and ready for families to enjoy from the weekend of May 7.”

Boats are set to return to Milhouses Park – but the lake could look different to how has been before.

Park users had praised the work of the Pullins family in running the boats and were surprised there was to be a chance.

Sacha Pullin said earlier this month: “Regarding the loss of the boating lake, we are obviously devastated to have lost the licence after developing the Millhouses boating lake facility into a popular family attraction over the last decade.”

Ruth Bell, head of parks and countryside at Sheffield Council, said: “We know how much our parks are loved across the city and we work extremely hard to make sure people have the best experience when visiting. Businesses that trade within our parks play an important role in enhancing that experience and it’s important that we review these and appoint the best possible providers.

“Several parks concessions were due for retender for the 2022-2025 period. As with all council commercial business, we have completed an open and fair tender process, and have to consider all applications.

Boats are set to return to Milhouses Park – but the lake could look different to how has been before.

“We have selected providers who best met the tender criteria and will see a mix of existing and new businesses operating in our parks.”

She added: "We understand that this is very difficult for those who were unsuccessful but we cannot automatically renew at the end of a contract and must conduct a process that is fair to all interested businesses.”