Lancaster Canal Towpath Trail Project gets £1.3 million

Published: Friday, 03 August 2018

THE Canal & River Trust and Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership have been awarded a £1.3million grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Not alas to secure the possible future of the cut-off section of the Lancaster Canal but to provided funds for the aqueduct restoration and other projects to promote a new 'leisure, educational and volunteering opportunities along the waterway, as part of the Partnership’s Lancaster Canal Towpath Trail project'.

Stainton AqueductWill fund other projects

The grant will fund repairs to Stainton Aqueduct, which was badly damaged during storms Desmond and Eva in December 2015, with contractors starting work next week and is expected to take nine months. The grant will also fund other projects along the disused section of the Lancaster Canal to further the towpath project.

The total cost of the restoration, interpretation and community projects is £2.2 million. This new grant, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, is supplemented by secured funding of £500,000 from the Rural Development Programme for England’s Cumbria Countryside Access Fund.

Canal & River Trust provide remainder

There is a further £140,000 from South Lakeland District Council and smaller grants from Cumbria County Council and Kendal Town Council, which supports the Towpath Trail project. The Canal & River Trust will provide the remainder of the match funding of £200,000.

A new project officer will now be appointed for two years by the Canal & River Trust to lead the community, tourism and interpretation aspects of the initiative. The plan is to produce two new trails, as well as wind-up audio canal character sculptures together with sound and light shows deep inside Hincaster Tunnel.

Stephen Higham, of the Canal & River Trust, explained:

“The Lancaster Canal celebrates its bicentenary in 2019 so this is a perfect time to work with the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership to help realise our joint aspirations for wider heritage and regeneration activity."

Works cost £250,000

The Grade II listed Stainton Aqueduct was built in 1819 and carries the disused Lancaster Canal over Stainton Beck.
Prior to the damage caused during extreme rainfall in the December 2015 storms, the aqueduct was in good condition. Emergency stabilisation works costing £250,000 were completed on-site by the Canal & River Trust in early 2016.

However, these were not sufficient to open up the public right of way through the aqueduct tunnel or to enable navigation over the aqueduct that could be used by a trip boat operated by the Lancaster Canal Trust.


This section of the Lancaster Canal was cut-off at Tewitfield when the M6 was constructed, and was renamed the Northern Reaches, and though many attempts have been put forward to re-connect to the Lancaster Canal that is navigable, all have come to nought.