£15m makeover for North West waterways
The Canal & River Trust is investing £15m this winter on carrying out essential repairs, upgrades and maintenance work to the North West’s historic waterways.
As part of the four-month programme, which is due to finish in mid-March, the trust’s engineering teams are replacing worn-out lock gates, dredging waterways and carrying out a host of tasks to keep the 200-year old network in good working order.
Work has included major projects on the Ashton, Huddersfield Narrow, Lancaster, Leeds & Liverpool, Rochdale and Shropshire Union canals, plus the Ribble Link, near Preston.
Currently the trust is unable to offer its usual on-site open days for visitors to get a special behind-the-scenes view of canal repairs but is offering a virtual experience focusing on the lock gate repair works at Brownsfield Lock 83 on the Rochdale Canal in Ancoats, the regenerated heart of the old cotton industry.
“With many of the region’s canals constructed over two centuries ago, it’s important to stay on top of regular maintenance and keep the waterways in good condition. We always try to minimise inconvenience to boaters by carrying out this routine work in the winter months,” says Daniel Greenhalgh, North West regional director.
“Our specialist engineering teams have continued to work in covid-safe bubbles throughout the lockdowns. They have had to deal with some incredibly challenging weather, including Storm Christoph, bringing storm damage and flooding. They’ve made great progress over the last few months and by carrying out these works, we will be protecting our historic waterways for future generations – ensuring they continue to make a real difference to people’s lives today.”