The free app developed by the Canal & River Trust together with the local community is being launched at a public open day at Bingley Five Rise Locks on Saturday 13 October.
In addition to telling the story of the canal, which bought prosperity to the region when it was built over 200 years ago, the new app highlights today's waterway wildlife and tourism that flourishes on the canal. The app's walking trail between Bingley and Saltaire will also direct visitors to the nearest cafes, pubs and public transport links to and from the canal.
Popular free attraction
Steve Higham from the Canal & River Trust comments: “The app will drastically improve the visitor experience at this historic site that already ranks amongst Yorkshire's most popular free attractions. By using 21st century technology, we're able to bring the story of this 18th century engineering marvel to life. It's an additional way of introducing more people to the canal that's on their doorstep.
"Come down to the Open Day on Saturday between 11am and 3pm and get a new take on a 200 year old ‘wonder of the waterways'. We'll have a limited number of iPads available for people to trial on the day or download the app free from iTunes before you get here.”
The app links to a new QR code trail which tells the story of the people and characters who have worked on the canal, including in its freight carrying days, through photos, animations and interviews. Visitors simply have to scan the code with their smart phone to access the free information.
The animations were developed in partnership with local schools, including Crossflatts Primary School, and show how the celebrated Grade I Listed Bingley Five Rise Locks work and how they've changed over time.
Interpretation panels with specially commissioned watercolour drawings that tell the story of the locks and a colour leaflet have also been produced. Working with the local café at Bingley, aerial footage and other films will be shown on a TV screen inside the café alongside a number of canal treasures which will keep visitors entertained as part of the overall visitor experience.
Following the official launch at the public open day, volunteers from the we will be taking the app and information about the new interpretation trail into local schools. Posters promoting the site are being distributed across Yorkshire.
The project was funded thanks to Europe's Interreg, Waterways for Growth project.