The Canal & River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, is investing £4 million on a four-month programme of repairs on Leicestershire’s historic waterways.
As part of the programme, continuing until March, the Trust’s expert teams will be replacing lock gates, repairing historic bridges and carrying out a host of tasks to keep the nation’s 250-year-old network in good working order.
The programme includes:
· New handcrafted lock gates being installed at Locks 28 and 29 near Kilby Bridge.
· Repairing a culvert near Kilby to prevent leakage.
· Canal wall repairs near Ervins Lock at South Wigston.
· Fitting new fenders at Woodthorpe Flood Lock on the River Soar near Loughborough.
· Repairing towpath erosion near Belgrave Lock in Leicester.
· Replacing the bottom set of lock gates at Lock 1 on the Welford Arm of the Grand Union Canal.
· Brickwork repairs at Bridge 1 on the Welford Arm.
Linny Beaumont, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our skilled teams will be braving the elements this winter carrying out the important repair and conservation work that is vital to keep Leicestershire’s waterways open, safe and accessible for boaters and local communities.
“With research telling us that time spent by the water can help us all to feel happier and more relaxed, it’s vital that we keep these special places open and safe for everyone to enjoy. So, the work our charity is doing this winter will ensure that the region’s waterways continue to bring real benefits to people’s lives for many years to come.
“We’ll be replacing lock gates and painstakingly repairing historic brickwork to ensure that these precious waterways don’t fall back into the dark days of canal dereliction and decline that was the story of the early and mid-20th century, before their renaissance began.”
The lock gates on the East Midlands’ waterways weigh several tonnes and typically last around 25 years. Each new gate is hand-crafted in the Trust’s specialist workshops at Bradley, West Midlands, or Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire and is made to measure from seasoned oak so that it fits perfectly in each historic lock chamber.
This winter the Trust is investing more than £50 million on waterways across England and Wales. 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.
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