The Canal & River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, has been awarded over £1.4 million in funding for seven major heritage projects across the country. This is the second tranche of funding for the Trust, which received over £1.6m in the first round last year.

Peak Forest Canal at Marple
Peak Forest Canal at Marple – set to benefit from funding

The funding, which has been awarded via the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, will help the charity’s vital work to safeguard the nation’s historic canals and rivers, so the public can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being by water.

The following projects will benefit from funding: Locks 13 and 15 on the Ashton Canal in Greater Manchester, Ryders Green Locks 1 and 3 in Sandwell, Wigan Locks 73 and 80 and Bingley Five Rise on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, plus conservation work along the Hertford Union Canal, at Soulbury in Bucks, and at Marple on the Peak Forest Canal in Stockport.

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Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Canals are at the heart of the nation’s industrial heritage, forming the transport network that enabled trade and industry to expand more than 200 years ago. Now they provide valuable health and wellbeing benefits to those who spend time by or on the water, boating, exercising, or simply enjoying the peace of mind that can come from stepping away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They provide corridors for nature in the heart of our towns and cities.

“Faced with the demands of a changing climate and more extreme weather events, the task of looking after these ageing assets is a greater challenge than ever, so that we keep them in good working order. We are delighted that the importance of our work has been recognised once again by Historic England and the Government.

“These Heritage Stimulus Fund grants will be spent during our annual winter works programme, which is essential to ensure our canals and rivers can continue to provide a valuable resource to the public.”

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Heritage sites across England received a boost of £35 million thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport by Historic England, 142 sites will receive support, bolstering local economies and supporting jobs across the country. Money from the government’s £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund is intended to open up heritage and the benefits it brings to everyone, helping to level up and improve life and opportunities for people in places that need it most. The latest £35 million funding awards builds on £52 million already allocated from the first round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, which has supported works at 800 of the country’s treasured heritage assets.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “From local churches to ancient buildings and landscapes, the UK’s unique heritage makes our towns, cities and villages stronger, more vibrant and helps bring communities together.

“This latest funding – £35 million from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund – will help protect sites including Jane Austen’s House and Hampton Court Palace for future generations and help them build back better from the pandemic.”

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Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said: “Funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.”

Trust projects that received grants of over £100k from Round One of the funding included Hunts Lock on the River Weaver, Sawley Locks 1 and 2 on the River Trent, Diglis Lock 1 where the River Severn meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, Soulbury Three Locks on the Grand Union Canal, and Wigan Flight Lock 71 on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

For more information about the Canal & River Trust, including how to volunteer and donate, visit:

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