VIDEO: Canal boat bid to boost Dales tourism

There are hopes that the arrival of a new canal boat offering trips for visitors along the Cromford Canal will provide a boost to tourism and local business.

The electrically-powered canal boat, called the Birdswood, arrived at Cromford Wharf on Saturday mornin, with trips due to start later this summer, once crews have been trained.

At the tiller...Councillor Andy Botham, right, and Friends of Cromford Canal's Mike Kelley aboard 'Birdswood'

At the tiller...Councillor Andy Botham, right, and Friends of Cromford Canal's Mike Kelley aboard 'Birdswood'

Chairman of the Friends of Cromford Canal, Matthew Rogers, said: “This is a really an exciting time and we cannot wait until we an start providing boat trips again.

“Hopefully, boat trips will play a role in attracting and retaining both existing and new visitors to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.”

Work to dredge the 1.3 mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse was carried out by the County Council.

Plants and soil particles were removed to make the water deeper – allowing a boat to complete the full stretch.

Cllr Andy Botham, who represents Matlock on Derbyshire County Council, said: “Tourism is an important part of the local economy.

“The boat trips will offer another attraction to draw people to this part of Derbyshire, which will benefit many other local businesses.”