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News article created on 29 September 2016

Northampton's canals to get a winter makeover

This winter the Trust, is carrying out a number of improvements to the historic Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire.

Open lift bridge on Northampton Arm of Grand Union Canal with boat behind Northampton Arm, Grand Union Canal, courtesy of davehamster, Flickr

The works, which are due to start in November, includes:

  • replacing the lock gates at lock number 6 (near Milton Malsor) and refitting the gates at lock number 15 (near Hunsbury Hill) on the Northampton Arm of the canal
  • replacing and refitting nine sets of  lock gates at Stoke Bruerne
  • refitting the lock gates at Cosgrove Lock at Cosgrove

The works form part of the Trust’s winter maintenance programme, through which £43million is being spent to give the nation’s waterways some TLC at a time when more people than ever are visiting their local canal or river.

Charlotte Wood, from the Trust, said: "The waterways in Northamptonshire are a real gem, but they are over 200-years old so need plenty of looking after. Keeping it running requires constant maintenance, so we’re using this winter period, when there are fewer boats travelling on the canal, to get as much done as we can."

Lock gates typically last around 25 years and allow countless boats to travel up and down the canal. Each new made to measure lock gate weighs several tonnes, and are handcrafted from seasoned oak so that they fit perfectly in the lock chamber. Once in place the new lock gates will help the Trust conserve water and keep boats moving along the waterway.

For more information on the works planned on the nations canals this winter visit Winter notices