PRESS RELEASE: IWA announces £200,000 of grants to support waterways restoration

Issue date: 5th April 2017

A £200,000 legacy generously donated to The Inland Waterways Association by long-time canal expert Tony Harrison, has been awarded to four waterways restoration projects.  Twenty eight bids were received by the charity which seeks to protect and restore the nation’s 6,500 miles of inland waterway, and the winners were decided according to which applications would do the most good for the waterways.  The winning bids reflect the wide range of interests held by Tony, who was IWA’s Honorary Consultant Engineer. The money awarded will help restore three locks and rebuild an infilled canal bridge, unlocking nearly six miles of canal or navigable river to waterway users.

The legacy will be shared as follows:

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society receive £106,400 of the total as part of their Bicentenary appeal marking 200 years since the canal was opened.  The project will restore two locks and carry out dredging to extend the navigable canal by 2 miles by 2018.

Canal campaigners from the Montgomery Canal Partnership celebrate a £70,000 award to help rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge between Crickheath and Llanymynech. This is a major boost to restoring a two-mile length of the canal through to Llanymynech, and ultimately to reconnecting Welshpool to the national canal network after more than 50 years.

Friends of the Cromford Canal are experiencing difficulties in running their passenger trip boat due to varying water levels being experienced at Cromford Wharf.  A grant of £15,000 from the legacy fund will allow them to install a replacement water gate to permit a more reliable, regulated water supply.

The restoration of the River Stour was one of three projects mentioned by IWA founders in 1946 and Stratford St Mary Lock is the last remaining lock on the navigation that can be restored.  The award of £8,600 will help restore the lock, opening an additional 1.75 miles of navigable river for public access by boat. There is no towpath along this stretch of water and so boat is the only way to gain access.  The River Stour Trust was successful recently in gaining a Landfill Tax Credit grant of £81,508, and the Tony Harrison legacy payment will make up the remaining amount needed to move ahead with this project.

IWA chairman, Les Etheridge said “Throughout Tony Harrison’s long association with IWA many restoration projects benefited from his advice and expertise and I am delighted his work can be continued through the £200,000 bequeathed to the charity.  This legacy will help generate positive momentum on four important restoration projects across the country.”


Notes to Editors:

Media contact: Alicen Stenner,

Photos: available to download from Google Drive.

  • Montgomery Canal Partnership High resolution image of Schoolhouse Bridge: Credit John Dodwell
  • Friends of Cromford Canal Replacement Water Gate design
  • River Stour Trust x 4
  • Tony Harrison in 2007
  • Pocklington Canal Walbut Lock (v. low res)

About The Inland Waterways Association

IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.  IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations.  The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.

IWA - Keeping our waterways alive

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