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The charity making life better by water

West Midland's canals to get a £1.8 million makeover

This winter we are planning £1.8 million worth of improvements to the historic network of canals across the West Midlands.

A workman fixing a new lock gate in a drained canal

The work, which is needed to preserve and protect the 383 miles of waterway in the West Midlands region, is due to start in November and be completed by the end of March, ready for the start of the new boating season.

The work includes replacing and refitting 30 sets of lock gates each weighing several tonnes, repairing historic brick walls, replacing and repairing lock ladders, fixing 200 year old aqueducts and carrying our repairs to the canal banks.

The works form part of our 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.

Simon Turner, from the Trust, said: "The waterways across the West Midlands are a real gem, but they are over 200-years old so need plenty of looking after. Keeping things 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 a full list of the planned work planned for this winter visit Winter stoppages

Last Edited: 29 September 2016

photo of a location on the canals
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