east midland waterways to get £4m winter makeover
The Canal & River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, is investing £4 million on a four-month programme of repairs on the East Midlands’ historic waterways.
As part of the programme, which will continue until March, the Trust’s expert teams will be replacing lock gates, dredging sections of canal and carrying out a host of tasks to keep the 200-year old network working.
The programme includes:
- New handcrafted lock gates being installed at Blue Bank Lock, near Glen Parva in Leicester. Works are also taking place to repair historic brickwork within the lock.
- A new control system being installed at Stamp End Lock in Lincoln, the East Midlands’ only guillotine lock (where gates are lifted overhead rather than the more common gate opening).
- A new pedestrian footbridge being installed at Derwent Mouth Lock in Derbyshire, making it easier for people to make their way over the lock.
- New lock gates installed at Stanton Lock on the Erewash Canal.
- Replacing the concrete cill, which forms a watertight seal with the bottom of the lock gates, at Long Buckby Lock in Northamptonshire.
- Lifting in new gates at Lock 15 of the Grand Union Canal, Northampton Arm.
Phil Mulligan, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said:
“This winter’s works are obviously important for encouraging boaters to visit the East Midlands but, with research telling us that time spent by the water can help us to feel happier and more relaxed, they will also contribute to improving people’s mental and physical well-being.
“Our waterways have offered a really important lifeline for so many people this year, providing the perfect spots for local recreation, exercise or just to unwind. That’s why it’s so important that we keep them open and safe for everyone to use, whether you’re out on your boat or enjoying the towpath.
“By carrying out these works we will be protecting our historic waterways for future generations and ensuring that they can make a real difference to people’s lives today.”
This winter the Trust is investing more than £45 million on waterways across England and Wales. The lock gates on the East Midlands’ waterways weigh several tonnes and typically last around 25 years. Each new gate is made to measure and handcrafted from seasoned oak so that it fits perfectly in the lock chamber.
For more information on the work of the Canal & River Trust, including how to support through volunteering or making a donation, go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.