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Renishaw: Rewatering & regeneration

Waterways in Progress Grant: Chesterfield Canal


£50,000 was awarded to Rewatering Renishaw Phase 1a project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.

Approximately 500m of the Chesterfield Canal channel was restored through Renishaw, Derbyshire in 2010, as part of a housing development. However, due to various issues, the stretch proved to be unuseable. It delivered little benefit to the newly created community on the housing estate and the wider Renishaw community.

The Rewatering Renishaw project seeks to extend the derelict channel. It will be transformed into a permanent waterspace that local people can celebrate and enjoy. This project is part of Phase 1 of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s ambition to restore the canal to full navigation by 2027. This will be the 250th anniversary of the canal’s original opening. The complete Phase 1 works will extend the current limit of navigation from the town of Staveley to the village of Renishaw. They will also include the construction of three new accommodation bridges, four new bridleway bridges, a lock, a railway overbridge, an aqueduct and approximately 5km of new or restored channel.

The works at Renishaw will provide lasting benefits

The entire Phase 1 of the project will take several years to complete. It will require over £4m to be raised. The works at Renishaw (Phase 1a) can be completed much earlier and provide lasting benefits to the community. These will be felt long before either the Phase 1 works are completed, or it forms part of a fully restored waterway. This lasting and standalone benefit from an interim restoration stage is a prime example of the Waterways in Progress philosophy.

The grant, with additional funding from Chesterfield Canal Trust and Derbyshire County Council, will allow the trust to undertake the following Phase 1a work:

  • 550m of canal channel re-profiled to navigable standards
  • 1,050m of canal channel relined using a geosynthetic clay liner
  • 250m of stone gabions installed in the canal banks and waterproofed by casting a concrete face up to the water level
  • Clinker Wood side weir restored and a temporary pumping system provided to supply water from the River Rother to the canal
  • 550m of towpath resurfaced, making it suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. The current path is  virtually impassable despite being the official public right of way.
  • A further 915m of towpath resurfaced to provide a circular 2.5km surfaced route incorporating the Trans-Pennine Trail
  • Eight picnic benches, made from recycled plastic. These will be installed across two locations along with three standard benches in other areas of the scheme. Two of the picnic benches will be suitable for wheelchair users
  • Installation of signage to encourage users of the Trans-Pennine Trail to explore the canal and the village. Plus the provision of 12 cycle stands to allow cyclists to secure their bikes.

Additional Works

Alongside the above works, the project partners plan to deliver the following additional works to futureproof the canal for navigation:

  • 210m of concrete and masonry wash walling constructed around Black’s Pit corner, in order to protect the banks around this tight turn
  • 285m of steel piling installed to the south of Barlborough Road Bridge, to provide future visitor moorings.

Unlocking further sections of canal

Early delivery of the Phase 1a works will also help to rebuild the support in Renishaw for the project . It will build credibility for the ability of the project partners to deliver the scheme. The project will unlock the acquisition of further sections of canal. Landowners are prepared to sell the relevant land, but currently will not do so for fear of being left with a legacy similar to the ‘restored’ channel in Renishaw.

The key beneficiaries of the project will be the local community of Renishaw. They will be able to use the pleasant waterspace environment, secure in the knowledge that it is not dependent on the future canal connection. The improved towpaths and 2.5km circular route will benefit the health and well-being of the local community. It will also attract new visitors to this flat, waterside walk. Data shows that in 2018, over 52,000 walkers and cyclists were recorded using the Trans-Pennine Trail at Renishaw. Most of these people bypassed the village without even realising it was there.

Cycle stands and picnic benches will encourage people to stop and explore the village.

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Find out more

In May 2019 we launched a new grant of up to £100,000 to assist in funding projects, which promote the Waterways in Progress report vision and values. This grant has been made possible by legacies that have been left to the Association.

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