Chesterfield Canal Trust to create new haven for cyclists and walkers thanks to £22,000 boost

Volunteers working on the Chesterfield Canal’s restoration say they are ‘deeply grateful’ for a £22,000 donation from a fellow waterways trust which is being wound-up.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 11:44 am

The Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Canals Trust has seen its support dwindle over recent years and has been unable to secure support from councillors for canal restoration in their local plan.

With ‘great regret’ the South Yorkshire trust’s council of management has decided to wind up the organisation and cease operations.

Trust members agreed their 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 the recipients.

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This section of The Chesterfield Canal at Renishaw will be restored to its former glory. Image: Chesterfield Canal Trust.

The £22,000 donation will be used on the ‘Rewatering Renishaw’ project, which will create a ‘permanent water space that local people can celebrate and enjoy’.

Mike Silk, company secretary of the Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Canals Trust, said: “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 transform 500m of canal which was restored through Renishaw in 2009, as part of a housing development, but which has not been maintained.

The scheme will extend the channel by a further 500m and resurface the towpath for pedestrians and cyclists.

There will be a circular 2.5km surfaced route incorporating the Trans-Pennine Trail and 11 picnic benches, two of which will be suitable for wheelchair users.

Peter Hardy, chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, said he was ‘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,” he said.

"Recent events have re-emphasised the need for these green spaces for health and well-being.

"We are deeply grateful to the officers and members of Barnsley, Dearne and 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.”

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