Planned restoration work to Nantwich Aqueduct has been postponed to avoid disruption for local businesses during the summer months and to allow additional funds to be raised.
The work was due to have been started at the end of March and would have involved the closure of the A534 for eight weeks, but after consulting with local businesses and residents it has been decided to postpone the work until September.
The Grade II* Nantwich Aqueduct carries the Shropshire Union Canal over the A534 Chester Road – one of the main routes into the centre of Nantwich. The road needs to be closed while the ironwork is grit blasted and repainted.
Local residents and businesses were invited to comment on the proposals at a recent open day that was held at Nantwich Market, and it was after hearing their views that a decision to postpone the work until September was taken.
Our project manager Marc Evans said: “This work needs to be carried out, but we are mindful of the disruption that the road closure will cause.
“Restoring the aqueduct in September will be less disruptive and it also gives us the opportunity to seek extra funding for additional work that has been identified as being needed to its masonry. By doing everything in one go we will be able to get the aqueduct in tip-top condition with as little disruption as possible.”
Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of service commissioning, said: “Both Cheshire East Council and the Canal & River Trust have responded immediately to concerns raised by local traders and the Council has subsequently brokered discussions between the key parties to seek a swift resolution.
“This has resulted in the decision to establish an Aqueduct Project Group, to be led by businesses at Nantwich Marina, to support and celebrate this important piece of work.”
The £200,000 project is being managed by the Canal & River Trust – the charity that cares for the nation’s 2000 mile canal network. The work is funded by generous donations to the Canal & River Trust by members of the public (£135,000), Cheshire East Council (£40,000), Nantwich Town Council (£20,000), Acton, Edleston & Henhull Parish Council (£3,000) and the Nantwich Partnership (£2,000).
An additional £50,000 of funding is now to be sought to cover the cost of the extra work.
Nantwich Aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford in 1826 and for the past 200 years has carried water and boats. Like any historic building it requires specialist care in order to keep it in good repair and ensure it can be enjoyed by visitors for many years to come.
Anyone who would like to support the restoration of the canals and our conservation work can become a Friend at canalrivertrust.org.uk or by phoning 0303 040 4040.