A company based at South Dock Marina boatyard – which normally provides canopies and coverings for use on boats – has turned its hand to producing washable face coverings for people to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marine Canvas Hut is selling a range of designs of face covering for £5 each. Orders can be sent by post for an extra charge, or collected from South Dock Marina.

Canada Water developer British Land has contributed £20,000 to the Southwark Community Response Fund set up to help local organisations deal with the implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

British Land says that the extra cash will “provide additionality for charities, social enterprises, TRAs and community groups in Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks wards”.

More information and guidance on how to apply can be found on United St Saviour’s website.

In a post on the Canada Water Masterplan website, British Land also said: “To support Canada Water’s various local businesses, we have also released our smaller retail, food & beverage, charity and leisure customers from their rental obligations for three months (April to June).

“We hope this will go some way to supporting local businesses through this difficult time.”

A crowdfunding drive launched by a small business based at South Dock Marina has raised nearly £3,000 to make protective visors for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marine Canvas Hut has teamed up with a group of volunteers making high-quality, yet low-cost protective visors.

Further details of the project can be found on Facebook and GoFundMe.

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Thames tour boat firm City Cruises, which operates from Bermondsey’s Cherry Garden Pier, has been sold to Chicago-based Hornblower Cruises & Events.

City Cruises was founded in 1985 and now has operations in York and at Poole Harbour in addition to its core Thames business.

“We are incredibly excited to acquire City Cruises, which we believe to be the best leisure cruise operator in Europe today,” said Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower.

@We have long had the ambition to enter the European market, and it makes perfect sense to start our journey in one of the most iconic cities in the world.

“Under the expert stewardship of Gary and Rita Beckwith, City Cruises has earned an enviable reputation, and we are honoured to build on their legacy in 2020 and beyond.”

Gary Beckwith OBE, City Cruises founder and CEO, said: “We believe the sale of City Cruises to Hornblower will take the brand to the next level of success. 

“We have always been at the forefront of change and believe our growth and success over the years is testament to our commitment to embracing innovation, constantly investing in our vessels and our customer experiences, and our dedication to providing outstanding customer service every day of the year. 

“We have been honoured to be at the helm of City Cruises and believe the business we started will further flourish and grow under Hornblower’s ownership.”

Hornblower Cruises & Events President, Kenneth Svendsen, leads the combined company. All staff will be retained, with founders Gary and Rita Beckwith assisting in the transition.


Firms in and around The Blue have voted to continue their Business Improvement District (BID) for a second term of five years.

The BID’s new mandate – that begins on 1 October – is based on the 2019 – 2024 Renewal Proposal.

Of 140 eligible businesses, 90 voted in favour of renewing the BID.

BIDs are funded by a levy on business rates which is then used for schemes to make the area a better place to trade.

A recent demonstration of cargo bikes in action near London Bridge

Businesses at the Blue will benefit from a share of a £170,000 funding pot – backed by Transport for London – for projects to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The funding from TfL’s Healthy Streets Fund for Business will be matched by business improvement districts like the Blue Bermondsey.

In Bermondsey, the scheme will enable more cycling at the Blue marketplace by providing cargo bikes, storage spaces and other facilities to allow people to cycle to work. This will also allow traders to move more goods by bike.Z

Jack Shah, Chair of Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, said: “This is fantastic news for businesses at the Blue. This funding from TfL will be used to improve business cycling, including a shared cargo bike trial at the Blue, as well as better storage for market traders. Longer term, there is a huge opportunity for new cycle routes at the Blue which could link up along the Low Line with other areas such as London Bridge and Bankside.

“Business cargo bikes could use these routes for last mile zero emissions deliveries during weekday daytimes, to help reduce air pollution for our local communities. Residents and visitors could also enjoy cycling along the Low Line in the evenings and at weekends, bringing new customers to businesses at the Blue.”

French sports/camping/outdoors chain Decathlon has been a fixture of SE16 for nearly two decades.

The Canada Water store was the company’s first in the UK (there are now 28), and now the new store as part of the Sellar development has finally opened its doors.

The Mayor of Southwark – Cllr Catherine Rose – declared the new store open at 5pm on Wednesday, whilst staff cheered and applauded customers as they made their way into the new shop.

Decathlon has put on a programme of activities to celebrate the launch of the new store, including free kayaking sessions on Canada Water over the weekend.