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News article created on 13 September 2016

Leeds & Liverpool Canal special bicentenary awards shortlist announced

A special Leeds & Liverpool Canal bicentenary awards competition has attracted dozens of entries from individuals and organisations on both sides of the Pennines.

Dry stone wall group Rishton

The Trust, launched the one-off awards this summer to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain’s longest single man-made waterway. Nominations were received to recognise the best environment, education and conservation projects, the most dedicated volunteers and enterprising businesses.

The Trust’s North West Waterway, which is responsible for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, also introduced two categories which will continue to be presented annually – the Waterway Manager’s Outstanding Contribution Award and the Waterway Partnership Chair’s Award, open to groups and individuals who work in the community.

This week an impressive short list of entries was announced and the winners will be revealed at the Bicentenary gala dinner on Wednesday 19 October at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Blackburn, hosted by popular poet, the ‘Bard of Barnsley’, Ian McMillan.

High quality entries

Chair of the judging panel, Bob Pointing, North West Waterway Partnership chairman, said: "We were delighted to receive so many high quality entries from individuals and organisations on both sides of the Pennines. The standard has been truly excellent. As we celebrate the canal’s 200th birthday, it’s fantastic to see that it is still as vibrant and relevant as ever. Although originally developed to transport goods, the canal has reinvented itself for the 21st century and continues to play an important role in the communities through which it flows."

Chantelle Seaborn, the Trust’s North West Waterway Manager, said: “The bicentenary of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is a very special date for a very special waterway. All through 2016, the Trust, along with dozens of groups, organisations and societies, have been marking the year with festivals and events.

"So many wonderful people and organisations have helped to conserve, promote and improve the brilliant waterway we see today. We thought it was right, that in the year when the canal comes under the spotlight, we should mark their contribution and say ‘thank you’."

Short listed entries are:

1.    Natural Environment

Drystone Walling Project (Pennine Lancashire)

Towpath Taskforce Sefton (Merseyside)

2.    Culture, Education and Learning

Brightwork Project (Pennine Lancashire)

4th Crosby Scouts (Merseyside)

JAMES Group (Bingley)

3.    Heritage

Bingley 5 Rise Staircase Lock Restoration

Dry Stone Walling (Pennine Lancashire)

Historic Short Boat Kennet (Leeds Liverpool Canal Society)

4.    Young Volunteer of the Year (under 25 years)

Amy Irwin (Netherton, Merseyside)

Dylan Manning (Burnley)

5.    Volunteer of the Year

Les Dundon (Sefton)

Marcus Topham (West Yorkshire)

Peter Baxter (Wigan)

6.    Enterprise

Dance and Performing Arts (DAPA)– Eanam Wharf (Blackburn)

JAMES Group (Bingley)

Pennine Cruisers (Skipton)

7.    Outstanding Contribution (Waterway Manager’s award)

Graham Vernon, DAPA, Blackburn

IWA Festival at Eldonian Village 2016, Liverpool

Leeds Liverpool Canal Society

8.    Waterway Partnership Chair’s Award

Brightwork Project (Pennine Lancashire)

IWA Festival at Eldonian Village 2016

29th Ormskirk Scouts

Tickets for the Bicentenary Gala Dinner cost £35 and are available from Sarah Knight on sarah.knight@canalrivertrust.org.uk

For more details about the bicentenary celebrations, head to Leeds & Liverpool Canal Bicentenary