The Chesterfield Canal Trust is appealing for funds to finish the regeneration of the waterway by its 250th anniversary in 2027.
Since 1987 the Trust has worked tirelessly to renovate and refurbish all 46 miles of the Chesterfield Canal, which runs from North Gainsborough to Staveley. This appeal for funds will result in the remaining nine miles being brought back into use making it the first time in around 110 years that the full length of the canal is navigable.
The last two appeals made by the Chesterfield Canal Trust raised a total of more than £100,000, with all of the money going directly to the restoration of the canal. This has included the renovation of Staveley Lock, which features one of the oldest staircase locks ever built.
The canal was originally devised and constructed by James Brindley in 1772, to compensate for Chesterfield’s poor transport links. Fast forward just under 250 years and Chesterfield now has some of the best road and rail transport links in the country, with Chesterfield’s mainline station being right on the doorstep of the £75million Basin Square development at Chesterfield Waterside.
The Basin Square neighbourhood became home to a brand new canal basin in 2009, thanks to £2.4million of grant funding from Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. The new basin, built on the site of Arnold Laver’s 15-acre former Timber World, now connects the main canal restoration and the River Rother.
Peter Swallow, Director of Bolsterstone – the company behind Chesterfield Waterside, commented: “The canal is an important part of Chesterfield and Chesterfield Waterside’s identity. We’d love to see the canal full restored and navigable by its 250th anniversary and urge any supporters or lovers of the waterway to help out however they can.
“Having the canal right next to the development was always a great opportunity for us. Not only will we create a thriving new neighbourhood that the town will benefit from, but a historic and beautiful canal can be brought back into full use.”
Running alongside the canal is the 220-year-old tow path, known as Cuckoo Walk. It spans the full 46 miles of the canal and was named by Ordinance Survey as one of the finest canal walks in the country.
Research by the University of Northampton found that canals increase the number of walkers, cyclists and kayakers boosting the local economy by between 15 and 25 per cent.
If you want to support the restoration of the canal, there are many ways to donate. This includes a one-off payment, monthly payments and a certificated donation (for larger donations). There are four levels for the certificated donation – Silver (£100), Gold (£500), Platinum (£1,000) and Diamond (£5,000). There are also opportunities for supporters to leave legacies in their wills or sponsor an item such as a lock gate, footbridge or length of towpath.
To read more about the canal restoration and make a donation, please click here.