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News article created on 22 August 2016

New canalside hub launched for young people in Wigan

Calling all young people in the Wigan area… a new canalside canoe hub has been launched to provide free canoeing and other waterside and social action activities.

Wigan Hub Launch Wigan Hub Launch

The hub is the latest activity centre to be opened as part of the Desmond Family Canoe Trail.

The Wigan hub on Pottery Road, next to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, is one of 10 hubs being established along the new coast to coast canoe trail which stretches 160 miles from Liverpool to Goole. The route takes in the country’s longest single manmade waterway, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and the Aire & Calder Navigation.

Leaving a lasting legacy

Funded by a £1.3 million grant from the Desmond Foundation, the aim of the five year project is to create healthier communities and develop employment opportunities as well as leaving a lasting legacy, a coast to coast canoe trail, for future generations to enjoy.

The new Wigan hub was opened at a special activity day for youth groups on Friday 19 August. Richard Desmond’s colleague Richard Martin unveiled a waymarker metal canoe sculpture by Matthew Lane Sanderson and young people enjoyed free canoe taster sessions and workshops.

The Wigan canalside hub will meet one evening a week, plus regular weekends, and all young people aged 16-25 are invited to get involved, volunteer and be part of the hub’s activities.

Kate Sharples, the Canal & River Trust project leader for the Desmond Family Canoe Trail, explained: "The Wigan hub will offer regular canoeing sessions as well as other social enterprise activities. Canoeing is a fantastic sport. If you have ever fancied trying it out and or getting involved with the canal as a volunteer, do come and join us."

For more information email: Coastto.Coast@canalrivertrust.org.uk or find us on Twitter - @crtCanoeTrail.