Launched by the 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 the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK.
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 experts, headed up by Helen Carey OBE DL, has been tremendously impressed with the quality of projects submitted and after a series of visits and assessments have arrived at their list of finalists.”
The projects reflect the enormous diversity of activities taking place across the waterways, from inspirational art projects to dedicated volunteer-led schemes; innovative design and construction developments to pioneering environmental initiatives. The finalists are:
- Art & Interpretation – Meccano Bridge, Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal; Rochdale Canal Connections and; Slow Boat Project, Ikon Gallery
- Contribution to the built environment – Capel Mill, Cotswold Canals; Dutton Breach, Trent & Mersey; Hayhurst Quay, Northwich; Scale Lane Bridge, Hull
- Community & Volunteering – Bottesford Beck, Scunthorpe; Building Bridges, Waterways Recovery Group; Rivertime Boat Trust, River Thames; Wilmcote Lock 40 Reconstruction, Stratford on Avon Canal; Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust
- Education & Learning – In a New Light, Brecon Basin; Floating Cinema, London; Saturn Project, Cheshire
- Natural Environment – Restoration of the River Irwell, Manchester; River Brent/Grand Union Canal Eel Recovery Programme
- Recreation & Tourism – Chesterfield Canal Trust; Rickmansworth Waterways Festival; Roving Canal Traders; Stoke Bruerne Events
- Restoration & Historic Environment – Horseboating Society; Relighting the Fire, Ellesmere Forge
The winners of the 2014 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Galliford Try and Hyder Consulting, will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Armouries, Clarence Dock, Leeds on 24 September 2014.