Thanks to Lottery players

THE Canal & River Trust is inviting visitors with a National Lottery ticket or scratch card to experience free special heritage events across its waterways between 11 and 17 December as part of a nationwide campaign to thank National Lottery players.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in just five years, has been awarded the Trust approximately £13 million for 18 heritage projects across the network and, since the start of the National Lottery, the waterways of England and Wales have benefited from tens of millions of pounds towards vital heritage repairs and restoration works.

Free offers

♦ Now some of the buildings and waterways that have been supported by HLF funding will be offering people the chance to experience waterways heritage first hand, with a variety of free offers and behind the scenes tours. These include:

♦ Have a free tea or coffee on 16 and 17 December at Anderton Boat Lift, which received £3.3 million to restore it

♦ Free entry between 11 and 17 December at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester, which benefitted from £994,000 in funding

♦ The National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, which used £790,000 to restore the working boats Mossdale and George, is offering free entry between 11 and 17 December

♦ Or come along to Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum between 11 and 17 December for free entry to the museum, which received £67,000 for interpretation

♦ Explore the Roundhouse in Birmingham on Tuesday 12 December before its £2.5 million renovation in 2018

♦ Come to the Montgomery Canal on Wednesday 13 December for a special behind the scenes tour of the construction of the £1.2m nature reserves at Aston Locks in Oswestry

♦ Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, from Brecon Basin to Watton Limekilns which were transformed with a £65,000 grant. Tuesday 12 December, 11am to 12 pm, meeting at Theatr Brycheiniog – Canal Wharf, Brecon Powys, LD3 7EW

♦ A 6.5 milez circular guided walk on the Pocklington Canal which has received almost £500,000 in HLF funding. Thursday 14 December, 10am to 1pm, meeting outside the Melbourne Arms pub, Main Street, Melbourne Village YO42 4QJ.

Fantastic examples

Richard Parry, Chief Executive at the Trust, explains:

“The waterways the Canal & River Trust takes care of lie at the heart of the nation’s heritage. They are the arteries that fuelled the Industrial Revolution and are fantastic examples of working heritage that is still in use today. The buildings, locks, bridges, wharves and aqueducts that we look after need constant care and attention to preserve and, where necessary, repair them.

“The support we’ve received from players of the National Lottery has made a huge difference to some of the most memorable sights on our canals and rivers, as well as less-known but no less loved places. This December we’re saying thank you for the transformations this funding has helped us achieve. Come along and experience for free a taste of what makes our historic waterways so special.”