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News article created on 20 November 2013

Lottery grant to give historic Bugsworth Basin new life

Work has started to repair one of the country's most important waterway treasures thanks to a £76,400 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The 18th century Bugsworth Basin on the Peak Forest Canal in Derbyshire was once the largest and busiest inland port on Britain's narrow canal system, and the only one to survive intact. We're now working with volunteers from the Inland Waterways Protection Society to carry out essential restoration work to keep the basin alive for visitors to enjoy.

The basin will first be drained and fish carefully caught and relocated, before volunteers and our specialist  conservators dismantle and rebuild the basin's wall. The project will use the same techniques used to build the basin 200 years ago, giving volunteers, staff and students from local colleges and universities the chance to learn historic skills needed to help protect and care for Britain's working waterway heritage.  It will also enable an archiving programme to be undertaken to help conserve and enable wider appreciation of artefacts relating to the site.

Living museum

Judy Jones, heritage advisor at the Canal & River Trust said: “Bugsworth Basin is a living museum, a unique environment being the only canal and tramway interchange in the UK. Great care is needed to keep the basin in working order and this project is a fantastic example of volunteers from the Inland Waterways Protection Society working with the Trust to do just that. By teaching people the traditional skills that were used in its construction it is a great opportunity to show why conserving our heritage is so important."

Ian Edgar from the Inland Waterways Protection Society adds: “The volunteers have a never ending task of keeping Bugsworth Canal Basin in good order for all to enjoy. We are very pleased that the Canal & River Trust have taken on this difficult and extensive restoration and rebuild which will last another 200 years. This is an excellent example of the Canal & River Trust working with volunteers and the Heritage Lottery Fund to save our heritage for all to enjoy.”

Built in 1796 by famous canal and tramway engineer, Benjamin Outram, Bugsworth Basin is part of the 14-mile long Peak Forest Canal running between Dukinfield to Bugsworth. Construction of the six-mile Peak Forest Tramway in 1795-96 linked Bugsworth Basin to the limestone and gritstone quarries in Derbyshire, and the canal linked Bugsworth to Manchester and the trans-Pennine canal network. The site is now a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument in recognition of its heritage significance.