London’s waterways have been given a boost this week after plans to restore Carpenters Road Lock in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park were given the green light.
The project is one of the final pieces of a ten-year programme to restore the Bow Back Rivers and preserve an important part of London’s industrial heritage.
We're leading the £1.75 million project, which includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from the London Legacy Development Corporation and £4,500 from the Inland Waterways Association.
Carpenters Road Lock is significant from an engineering point of view, as it had the only ‘double radial lock gates’ in the country. Built in the 1930s this design included two convex-shaped gates that lifted up vertically to enable boats to pass through. When restored the lock gates will provide the opportunity to navigate from the waterways around the former Olympic Stadium to Waterworks River, which in turn runs south to Three Mills Lock then out to the River Thames.
"We’re over the moon to have got the funding required to restore Carpenters Road Lock." Florence Salberter
Florence Salberter, Canal & River Trust heritage adviser, said: “We’re over the moon to have got the funding required to restore Carpenters Road Lock. This is one of the only times we’ll get to do a project like this in London, in terms of the investment and how it will open up the waterways for people who use them. The lock is hugely significant from a heritage point of view too, being built back in the 1930s when the waterways in this part of east London were extensively remodelled to improve flood management and boost the local economy."
The project will see new radial lock gates, restoration of the lock structure and of the counter balance weights that enable the gates to open. It will also ensure that the lock plays an important role in flood prevention, with the new gates being automated to enable flood water to be distributed to channels within the Bow Back Rivers.
To celebrate the restoration we're planning a range of events and activities, including plans for an east London canal festival, so people can learn about the history of the lock and rivers.