£1 million improvements to the Rochdale Canal

The stretch between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge has been completed
The stretch between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge has been completed

The Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, has completed £1 million of improvement works to the Rochdale Canal between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge.

The charity has rebuilt canal walls along a five-mile stretch of the 200-year-old waterway between locks three and seven after they were badly damaged during the 2015 Boxing Day floods. The work to stabilise the canal wall was completed ahead of scheduled improvements to the towpath this summer.

Richard Spencer, senior project manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Thanks to funding from Calderdale Council and our supporters we’ve been able to carry out these vital repairs to the canal’s 200-year-old wall. These improvements will ensure the canal and towpath are in good condition for the hundreds of boaters who use the canal as well as offering a clean, green traffic-free commuting and exercise route for families, cyclists and joggers.

“This is part of the first phase of improvements to the canal. We’re delighted that the towpath will be upgraded during the summer, which will make a real difference for everyone who enjoys using the canal.”

Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “The Council has provided funding for this project as part of its continued flood recovery works following the devastating 2015 floods. It’s great to see this and other flood repairs across Calderdale being completed, as it sends out a strong message that the borough is still a fantastic place to visit and enjoy. It’s also important to us that local people have as many opportunities as possible to walk and cycle, as we want Calderdale to be the most active borough in the North.”

Small, localised sections between Locks seven and eight are scheduled for completion during a navigational stoppage in November 2017.

Work to improve and resurface the canal towpath all the way between Lock 1 in Sowerby Bridge and Bridge 20 in Hebden Bridge will begin in the summer. Funded through the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant and delivered by the Canal & River Trust, the scheme will create a 10km high quality route to improve connectivity between communities along the valley.

For details visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk