9 December 2021
The award includes £4m towards the regeneration of Bridgwater Docks. IWA is keen to see this used to support the restoration of both the Docks’ infrastructure and the historic Bascule Bridge. This would happen alongside providing new community and leisure facilities at the Docks. The award is subject to a satisfactory business case being prepared and signed off by the Government.
A rich waterways heritage
Waterways boost local economies and bringing health and wellbeing benefits to the communities they touch, providing a leisure amenity that everyone can enjoy. Nowhere is this more evident than at Bridgwater in Somerset. Here there is a combination of a river and historic quayside, the heritage Docks including the Bascule Bridge and the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal that passes through 14 miles of delightful countryside to the county town of Taunton, where it joins the River Tone Navigation.
Chairman of IWA West Country Branch, Ray Alexander, says “We are delighted to see the regeneration of Bridgwater Docks included as part of the Towns Fund award. Our vision for the future of the docks and the Bascule Bridge is for them to become a vibrant and exciting part of Bridgwater and to help attract more visitors to the town and more boaters to use the docks. We also wish to see the history and heritage of the Docks celebrated and used to good effect so that heritage and waterway enthusiasts, historians and many others will visit Bridgwater and see the docks and the Bascule Bridge for themselves.”
IWA campaigns for Bridgwater
IWA has strong links with Bridgwater through both its members and its volunteers and recognises the importance that the docks have to the town. For some years, IWA has been lobbying the local authorities and others to secure the future of the Docks. IWA is keen to work with the authorities to help optimise the opportunities provided by this funding.