Daventry District Council is promoting the construction of a £11.7 million new canal from near the town centre to the Grand Union Canal, just east of Braunston Tunnel, passing alongside Daventry Reservoir. It is likely that there will be 7 locks over the 2 mile length of the arm to accommodate a level difference of 20.5 metres. It has been suggested that one flight of 4 locks could be replaced by a boatlift presenting an opportunity to create a tourist attraction of regional and perhaps national importance.
Although only just over a mile away from the canal at its closest point, Daventry completely misses out on the benefits of the busy waterway. The Council sees the new canal as a potential catalyst for regeneration in Daventry town centre and for raising the town’s profile as a tourist destination. Daventry District Council received grants of £275,000 from East Midlands Development Agency and Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd during 2009 to help fund feasibility and design work into the WaterSpace project.
A second round of public consultation took place in October 2010 on revised proposals for sites 3 and 6 which included the canal basins. The proposals had a rather mixed reaction, and Daventry District Council is now working on an outline planning application.
A new group, Daventry Canal Association, was formed to give support to the proposals in 2011.