Pennine Waterways News

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bridgewater boost will see boats return to Worsley Delph

The Bridgewater Canal is to receive a facelift as part of a scheme to regenerate the canal through Salford. The highlight of the scheme will be to open up the historic Worsley Delph to navigation and public access.

Salford City Council was recently awarded a grant of £3.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will contribute to the scheme's total cost of over £5 million. The project will see improvements to the five mile stretch of canal and adjoining areas between Barton Swing Aqueduct and Boothstown.

At Worsley Delph footpaths are to be opened up leading to the entrance to the Duke of Bridgewater's historic underground canal. The Delph itself will be made navigable once again, enabling visiting boats to moor up.

Image: Salford City Council

At Barton, a 'pocket park' will be developed,giving improved foot access from Barton Underbridge to the bank of the Ship Canal giving views of the Swing Aqueduct. Large areas of dense undergrowth is to be cleared, opening up views. Benches and interpretation boards will be provided. There will be a visitor centre and car park on the south side of the Swing Aqueduct. The aqueduct will be lit at night for the first time.

The towpath through Barton is to be improved to create 'Barton Promenade'. The Duke's Drive Country Park area to the north of the canal in Monton is to be enhanced with improved access and footpaths.

A new footbridge across the canal between Patricroft Station and the motorway will provide access to the towpath from new housing developments. A new footbridge across the canal between Monton and Worsley will link the towpath with Duke's Drive Country Park and a proposed marina and new housing in the Broadoak Park area. At Boothstown there will be a new car park, interpretation boards and improved paths.

Work is expected to start early in 2015 and be completed by the summer of 2016.

There appear to be some historical cross wires, as the Heritage Lottery website tells us that “Engineer James Brindley built the aqueduct to carry the canal over the River Irwell” but, of course, Brindley's manificent stone aqueduct was demolished for the construction of the Ship Canal and replaced by the present unique swing aqueduct.

Image: Salford City Council