8 October 2020
The Canal & River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, has been awarded over £1.6 million in funding for 17 projects across the country.
The funding, which has been awarded via the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government’s £1.57 billion 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 projects to receive funding include 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, which all received grants of over £100,000. The full list can be found in the Notes to Editors.
Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The canals were built over 200 years ago and are a vital part of our industrial heritage: you can still use the locks, bridges, tunnels and aqueducts, across our 2,000 miles of waterways, that were great feats of engineering in their time. The grant funding we are delighted to be receiving from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable us to carry out important repairs to 17 waterway sites of social and historical importance, much-loved by those who use them and the communities that live alongside.
“Today we recognise the wellbeing benefits of being on or by the water, with our waterways right on the doorstep of millions of people; as a charity, the Canal & River Trust looks after them, promotes their benefits for the nation’s physical and mental health, and safeguards them for generations to come.
“This funding 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. We are forecasting a reduction in income of around £20 million due to the pandemic and, while we have prioritised our spending to ensure we have a full programme, this funding will be valuable in helping us carry out all our planned works.
“The task of looking after our waterways remains a challenge: one we are committed to as we aim to keep them in good working order for the nation. We are delighted that the importance of our work has been recognised by the Government.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
For more information about the Canal & River Trust, including how to volunteer and donate, visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.