Sankey Canal regeneration finally on the cards
Regeneration of Britain’s first industrial canal looks certain thanks to a new partnership set up to protect the waterway in the future.
The Canal & River Trust, the charity which cares for 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, has joined forces with three local councils and the Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) to form the Sankey Canal Partnership.
“The five organisations will pledge to develop the Sankey Canal and promote economic regeneration, health and prosperity for the benefit of all who live and work along its route,” said partnership chairman, Lady Kirsty Pilkington.
“We know from canal restorations that have taken place in other parts of the country, this is a proven way to enrich people’s lives and re-invigorate communities.”
Going forward, the partnership will carry out surveys and further consultations in preparation for funding bids to enable the canal’s restoration to be delivered in phases. Volunteers will also play a key role in delivering the partnership’s ambitious goals.
Opened in 1757, the Sankey pre-dates the Bridgewater Canal by four years and was built primarily to carry coal from the Lancashire coalfields to the growing port of Liverpool.
Although it was officially closed in 1963, much of the canal remains in water but with navigation severed by the M62 motorway, several roads, a footbridge and a railway line.
The canal route has already been successfully re-invented as the Sankey Valley Trail off-road footpath suitable for cyclists, walkers, prams and wheelchairs.
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