Want Government cash for restoration

Published: Monday, 23 November 2009
THOUGH many believe the Bridgewater Canal was England's first man made canal, the Sankey Canal was opened in 1757, four years earlier.

Now St Helens Council and Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) are joining forces and intend to contact the Northwest Development Agency for funding for further restoration of the waterway.

Partly restored

The canal connects the Mersey with Widnes, Warrington and St Helens, but  has only been partly restored as society Secretary, Peter Keen, relates:

"Parts of the canal have already been restored but we still have two main problems; restoring the in-filled sections of the canal and linking the canal to the national canal network, either to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal or in the direction of Leigh.

"We think it would cost in the region of £90m. It's hard to get the money, but we're hopeful that by creating a partnership with St Helens Council and the other two neighbouring councils we might be more successful in our bids."

The two locks into the river were restored in the early 1980s to form marinas for sea-going/estuary pleasure boats, and sections have been cleared to make the towpath more attractive.