£50,000 has been awarded to a project aimed at restoring and extending a derelict canal channel in Renishaw. The ‘Rewatering Renishaw’ scheme will transform the stretch into a permanent water space that local people can enjoy.
Approximately 500m of the Chesterfield Canal channel was restored through Renishaw, Derbyshire in 2010, as part of a housing development. However, due to various issues, the stretch proved to be unuseable. It delivered little benefit to the newly created community on the housing estate and the wider Renishaw community.
This project is part of Phase 1 of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s ambition to restore the canal to full navigation by 2027. This will be the 250th anniversary of the canal’s original opening. The complete Phase 1 works will extend the current limit of navigation from the town of Staveley to the village of Renishaw. They will also include the construction of three new accommodation bridges, four new bridleway bridges, a lock, a railway overbridge, an aqueduct and approximately 5km of new or restored channel.
The entire Phase 1 of the project will take several years to complete. It will require over £4m to be raised. The works at Renishaw (Phase 1a) can be completed much earlier and provide lasting benefits to the community. These will be felt long before either the Phase 1 works are completed, or it forms part of a fully restored waterway. This lasting and standalone benefit from an interim restoration stage is a prime example of the Waterways in Progress philosophy.
The grant, with additional funding from Chesterfield Canal Trust and Derbyshire County Council, will allow the trust to undertake the following Phase 1a work:
- 550m of canal channel re-profiled to navigable standards.
- 1,050m of canal channel relined using a geosynthetic clay liner.
- 250m of stone gabions installed in the canal banks and waterproofed by casting a concrete face up to the water level.
- Clinker Wood side weir restored and a temporary pumping system provided to supply water from the River Rother to the canal.
- 550m of towpath resurfaced, making it suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. The current path is virtually impassable despite being the official public right of way.
- A further 915m of towpath resurfaced to provide a circular 2.5km surfaced route incorporating the Trans-Pennine Trail.
- Eight picnic benches, made from recycled plastic. These will be installed across two locations along with three standard benches in other areas of the scheme. Two of the picnic benches will be suitable for wheelchair users.
- Installation of signage to encourage users of the Trans-Pennine Trail to explore the canal and the village. Plus the provision of 12 cycle stands to allow cyclists to secure their bikes.
- Alongside the above works, the project partners plan to deliver the following additional works to futureproof the canal for navigation:
- 210m of concrete and masonry wash walling constructed around Black’s Pit corner, in order to protect the banks around this tight turn.
- 285m of steel piling installed to the south of Barlborough Road Bridge, to provide future visitor moorings.
Trust Secretary Rod Auton said: “This is great news for the Trust and even better news for the residents of Renishaw. The canal looked great when first restored in 2009, but has since become an eyesore. We will now be able to restore and extend it on both sides of Barlborough Road and keep it looking wonderful with a regular water supply. It is even possible that it could be connected to Chesterfield within a couple of years, if the necessary funding can be secured.”