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News article created on 5 August 2016

Brightwork volunteer project 'Brightens' Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Hundreds of volunteers from the Trust’s Brightwork project have ‘brightened’ the canal and their own lives this year – thanks to an amazing initiative on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Emma with Colne Boat

Funded by the BIG Lottery, the project has helped 1,800 people from Pennine Lancashire get involved with their local canal – learning new skills and making the waterway a better place.

As the canal celebrates its 200th anniversary year, one of the key projects has involved volunteers from Colne in Bloom working with local wood supplier Lanlee to brighten up Burnley Road, a main route into the town centre, with an impressive floral display on two specially constructed narrow boats.

The boats were designed and built by Lanlee employees and planted up by volunteers, supported by the Brightwork project and the Trust's project officer Emma Fielding.

Improvement projects

Other improvement projects across Burnley, Blackburn, Hyndburn, Nelson and Colne have included dry stone walling, litter picking, graffiti removal and canal repair work, carried out by a range of youth groups, adult male carers, young offenders and the Red Rose Recovery group.

In its first year, the Brightwork project has helped 65 different groups invest a total of 12,000 volunteer hours, and several volunteers have gone on to find jobs or take on community leadership roles thanks to the training opportunities provided.

Emma said: "Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, the canal and surrounding areas have had a major dose of TLC. Some brilliant improvement projects have taken place just in time to get the canal looking its best for the 200th anniversary celebrations this summer.

"The name Brightwork is inspired by the traditional narrowboat painting which used to add a splash of colour to the canal. It’s very apt that Brightwork continues to brighten the canal and the lives of the people who live near it through this wonderful three year project."

For further information about bicentenary events visit Leeds & Liverpool Canal celebrating 200 years