Sunday, 30 October 2011

Closing the Gap

[This from the Chesterfield Canal Trust site. These guys are doing some sterling work in getting this canal open.]

In 1968 the Chesterfield Canal was saved from complete closure. In 1989, nearly half of it was a muddy ditch or had disappeared completely. Since then the navigable parts have been cleaned up. More than half of the rest has already been restored, including building 11 new bridges. In 1989, 16 locks worked, now 52 locks work. 4 of these were restored by our Volunteer Work Party; they designed, engineered and built a fifth from scratch.

In 1989, 26 miles of canal were navigable, but boats kept getting stuck in weed, now 37 miles are virtually weed free and are used regularly. In 1989, there was a Trebor sweet factory near Chesterfield station, the site now has the new terminal canal basin which has been dug as the centrepiece of the £310 million Waterside development.

The Chesterfield Canal has come a long way in 20 years, we believe that the time has now come to Close The Gap and link Kiveton to Staveley making it possible to take a boat from the River Trent into the heart of Chesterfield for the first time since 1907.

Another half mile of canal was created at Staveley in 2009 as part of the Northern Loop roadworks.

Staveley Town Basin will be dug in the first half of this year.

Hollingwood Lock House is being rebuilt and extended to create a social hub and cafe, opening this summer.

Restoration of a stretch of canal at Renishaw was completed in 2009.

The people of Killamarsh have agreed upon a new line for the canal through the village and Killamarsh Greenway follows this route.

The site of Kiveton Colliery has been redeveloped with the route of the canal clearly defined.

Kiveton Waters fishery is designed to become a new canal marina.

Ecological studies, archaeological studies and engineering studies have been completed for virtually the whole of the unrestored gap. Plans and designs exist for locks, bridges and aqueducts.

An economic assessment study by Gibb Ltd. in 2001 predicted that the complete restoration of the canal would lead to the creation of over 1000 permanent new jobs and over 1700 temporary construction jobs with an annual tourist income of over £3 million.

We advocate that major works should start as soon as possible to boost the local economy, improve the environment and preserve the heritage of James Brindley's last canal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one of our most local canals and it is great that so much work is being put into restoring the route. Sadly for us the furthest up the canal we can get is the basin at West Stockwith as our boat is just too fat and too deep drafted. We do however still enjoy wandering along the towpath. It will be a great achievement when chesterfield is finally reconnected to its canal.