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News article created on 25 September 2014

Inspirational projects recognised at national waterway awards

The winners of the 2014 Living Waterways Awards were announced at a ceremony last night, Wednesday 24 September.

Launched by The Canal & River Trust in January, and led by an independent panel of experts from the voluntary, environmental, heritage, engineering and architecture sectors, the Living Waterways Awards seek to recognise exceptional projects that are helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.

The eight winners include: the innovative Floating Cinema project in London; the impressive Scale Lane moveable bridge across the River Hull; the hugely successful Friends of Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum events programme; the restoration of the River Irwell in Manchester; and the ‘life changing’ work of the Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust.

Tony Hales, Chairman of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “The Living Waterways Awards celebrate the individuals, communities and organisations that have done the most to make a difference to the nation’s historic canals and rivers - making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.

“Our panel of independent experts, headed up by Helen Carey, has been tremendously impressed with the quality of projects submitted.  There’s so much to learn so much from these achievements and we wish everyone many congratulations on their tremendous success.”

Helen Carey OBE DL, Chair of the Awards’ Assessment Panel, adds: “We’ve seen some exciting and truly inspiring projects from across the UK.  It is thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of a small army of individuals, groups and organisations across the country working together to improve their waterways, that millions of people are able to take pleasure in the wonderful canals and rivers that we have today.”

The winners of the 2014 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Galliford Try and Hyder Consulting, and were announced last night (24 September 2014) at a ceremony at The Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Winners are listed under eight award categories:

Art & Interpretation:

Winner - Rochdale Canal Connections

Runner-up - Meccano Bridge on the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal

Commended - ‘The Slow Boat Project’ at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.

Contribution to the built environment:

Winner - Scale Lane Bridge in Hull

Runner-up - Hayhurst Quay in Northwich

Commended - Capel Mill on the Cotswold Canals and Dutton Breach on the Trent & Mersey Canal

Community & Volunteering

Winner - Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust

Runner-up - Rivertime Boat Trust, River Thames

Commended - Reconstruction of Wilmcote Lock No 40 on the Stratford Canal; the Waterway Recovery Group’s ‘Building Bridges’ Project on the North Oxford and Grand Union canals; and Bottesford Beck at Scunthorpe

Education & Learning

Winner - The Floating Cinema in London

Runner-up - ‘In A New Light’ on the Mon & Brec Canal at Brecon

Commended - The Saturn Project on North West waterways

Natural Environment

Winner - River Irwell Restoration in Manchester

Runner-up - The River Brent/Grand Union Canal Eel Recovery Programme in West London

Recreation & Tourism

Winner – Stoke Bruerne Events in Northamptonshire

Runner-up – Rickmansworth Waterways Festival in Hertfordshire

Commended – Roving Canal Traders in Birmingham; and Chesterfield Canal Trust

Restoration & Historic Environment

Winner – Relighting the Fire at Ellesmere Forge in Shropshire

Runner-up – The Horseboating Society in Northern England.

Outstanding Achievement: Sonia Rolt OBE