Cromford canal’s narrow boat boost

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The Friends of Cromford Canal are celebrating after scooping a £28,000 grant which will allow them to buy a narrow boat.

The Friends of Cromford Canal are celebrating after scooping a £28,000 grant which will allow them to buy a narrow boat.

With work firmly underway to dredge a 1.3 mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse, the Friends have expressed their “excitement” at the “splendid news”.

The grant – which has been financed by the Rural Development Programme for England and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – will mean that boat trips will be running as soon as dredging work is completed.

Pat Morriss, chairman of the Friends of Cromford Canal, said it was the “visitor potential” of the boat trips and inevitable boost to the local economy this would bring that secured the funding.

“The Friends look forward to providing the boat during the summer of 2013, and to playing our full role in attracting and retaining both existing and new visitors to the area,” Pat said.

Work to dredge the canal – removing material such as decomposing plants and soil particles to make the waterway deeper – is expected to be completed in June.

Pat said: “I would like to thank Derbyshire County Council and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Team for their unstinting help and cooperation.”

The Friends of Cromford Canal was set up in 2002 to rejuvenate the waterway and it wants the entire 17-mile waterway to be navigable within 30 years.

It would run, as it did in the 19th century, from Langley Mill to stopping points in Cromford and Pinxton.

They say the refurbishment could boost the local economy, bringing millions of pounds a year into Derbyshire.