The Chesterfield Canal Trust is delighted to have been awarded £5.3m from the Staveley Towns Fund.
This means that over the next three years the canal will be extended by half a mile from Hartington Harbour onto the Staveley Puddlebank which runs across the Doe Lea valley.
There will also be two miles of multi-use towpath all the way to Renishaw. There will be a new lock and two new bridges. There will be a siphon pipe to take the water from Staveley Waterside (the new name for Staveley Town Basin) to the new canal section. In addition, full designs will be prepared for further work.
Peter Hardy, Chair of the Trust said: “Our scheme will bring enormous benefits to the residents of Staveley and surrounding areas with the extension of the canal from Staveley Waterside almost to the river Doe Lea. Together with the other projects awarded money from the Towns Fund, it will enhance the environment, health and wellbeing of all who live in the area.
“It will be the catalyst for the Chesterfield Canal Trust to complete the restoration of the canal.
“We are indebted to the local company Suon Ltd. which has donated the clay to be used in this project; without this generosity the scheme would not have been possible.”
The Trust further hopes to complete the canal restoration through to Renishaw. This will include the spectacular Doe Lea aqueduct, planned to be 37 metres long and 10 metres above river level.
The Trust’s volunteer Work Party has already started its Rewatering Renishaw project which will bring another half mile of canal back to life. The aim is to join the two projects together finishing up with an extra 2½ miles of canal in the next few years.
For the next few months, the Trust’s Project Team, led by Mark Potter, will be making detailed preparations, preparing tender documents, appointing staff, awarding contracts etc.
The first actual construction work will be the new Trans-Pennine Trail bridge, just east of the existing Eckington Road Bridge. This is scheduled to start early next year. The main earth moving to rebuild the Puddlebank will not start until 2024.
The Trust appointed George Rogers as its Development Manager just under three years ago. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to get the restoration to this point. Upon hearing the news of the award his reaction was “Now the hard work starts!”
The Trust is very grateful for all the support that it has received from Chesterfield Borough Council, the Staveley Town Deal Board, Derbyshire County Council, Lee Rowley MP, Toby Perkins MP, countless councillors and, perhaps most importantly, its membership and the local people in whose hearts the canal holds a very special place.
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