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The Sankey Canal has a long history of connecting businesses, communities and people.
Built in 1757 it was Britain’s first canal of the industrial revolution built to bring coal down to the growing chemical industries of Liverpool. As these businesses expanded, so too did the surrounding areas including Widnes, Warrington and St Helens.
The closure of the canal in 1963 and subsequent in-filling of various stretches has cut off the canal from the regeneration and leisure opportunities afforded to many other historical assets.
Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS)
SCARS was formed in 1985 with its principle aim to achieve full restoration of the canal.
SCARS’ activities include:
+ Campaigning to preserve, conserve and restore the Sankey Canal
+ Build a new link to the National Waterway Network
+ Promote and stimulate public interest in and usage of the Canal
SCARS provide specialist input on the industrial heritage and history of the Canal and provide a strong community voice for the Linking the Locks project.
The Canal Route forms a natural connection between large areas of employment and recreation between Warrington and Widnes which includes Spike Island, Fiddler’s Ferry and Sankey Bridges and the East/West Trans Pennine Trail.
However, parts of the Sankey Canal route suffer from maintenance and environmental issues, but perhaps more importantly they conceal items of significant historical and heritage importance such as lock gates and transport routes.
SCARS carry out a number of Work Parties along the Sankey Canal consisting of volunteers.
SCARS operate predominantly from the Sankey Valley Heritage Visitor Centre located in Blackbrook and hold regular open days to promote their work and to recruit new members to their Work Parties and provide all work parties with hi-vis jackets and tools.
SCARS will also act as host organisation for volunteers recruited as part of the Linking the Locks project and will lead on training in practical and conservation skills.
Through the Linking the Locks project, SCARS have worked with Warrington’s Princes Trust team to oversee environmental improvements to public areas at Sankey Bridges, Warrington. Work is also underway with students from Riverside College’s Duke of Edinburgh participants on completing restoration works at Spike Island lock gates, Widnes. Keep checking our News and Updates section for details as the project develops.
Participants in local community projects can also expect to receive skills and qualifications in a variety of subjects including Health & Safety, Construction and more.
Download Linking: Volunteers & Communities leaflet
For more information about Voluntary opportunities contact:
Business Development & Marketing Officer
Tel: 01925 444009