Trust's termination benefits Chesterfield Canal restoration

Published: Wednesday, 30 December 2020

THE termination of the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust has resulted in over £22,000 of its funds being donated to the Chesterfield Canal Trust.

Renishaw2007This money will go to the Rewatering Renishaw project, that entails making good around 550 yards of waterway that was restored through Renishaw.  The photograph shows volunteers of both the Trust and Waterways Recovery Group working on the waterway through Renishaw in 2007.

Support dwindled

The Barnsley Canal Group was formed in 1984, then was relaunched as the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust in 2000, but for a number of years support has dwindled, as the new Barnsley local plan does not include the restoration of the canals in the borough.  Without that support, the prospect of a through restoration, estimated to cost a nine figure sum, appears to be very unlikely.

It was therefore with great regret that the Trust’s Council of Management decided to wind up the Trust and cease operations. It considered that the remaining cash assets should be transferred to an active canal restoration project where they can be put to good, practical use and chose the Chesterfield Canal Trust as recipients. This was approved at their
A.G.M. in November, with Mike Silk, Company Secretary of the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust explaining:

Renishaw 2010The best use of resources

“Despite our disappointment at having to close our Trust, we are convinced that helping to keep the restoration work of the Chesterfield Canal Trust moving forward is the best use for the resources we are passing across.  We wish the Trust every success with its plans for full restoration, which will benefit local communities as well as all users of the route of the canal.”

The Rewatering Renishaw project seeks to make good the canal which was restored through Renishaw, Derbyshire in 2009, as part of a housing development, but which has not been maintained.  It will also extend the channel by a further 550 yards. 

The photograph above shows the canal just after its restoration in 2010, with the photograph below showing it as it is now in need of work.

Renishaw2020Towpath resurfaced

In addition to putting a total of 1,090 yards of canal in water, the towpath will be resurfaced to be suitable for pedestrians and cyclists providing a circular surfaced route incorporating the Trans-Pennine Trail and 11 picnic benches, two of which will be suitable for wheelchair users.  Signage to encourage users of the Trans-Pennine Trail to explore the canal and the village will be installed along with 12 cycle stands to allow cyclists to secure their bikes.

Peter Hardy, Chairman of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, remarked:

“The Chesterfield Canal Trust is very sad to see one of our fellow restoration trusts having to be wound-up.  We believe that canal restoration is a wonderful vehicle for bringing much needed economic regeneration to our communities. Recent events have re-emphasised the need for these green spaces for health and wellbeing.

"We are deeply grateful to the officers and members of Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust for choosing us as the recipients of their remaining funds. They can rest assured that the money will be put to very good use.”

This Rewatering Renishaw project is part of Phase 1 of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s ambition to restore the canal to full navigation by 2027, which is the 250th anniversary of the canal’s original opening.