Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift is a scheduled ancient monument located near Northwich, between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Weaver Navigation. Constructed in 1875 the lift was the first of its kind in the work and a major engineering achievement, utilising a hydraulic lift system to raise and lower barges and canal boats the 50ft difference in height between the two waterways.

On 26th March 2002 the Anderton Boat lift reopened following a complete restoration process, which involved completely dismantling the huge structure, restoring the component parts and reassembling it to its original 1875 working condition.

The completion of the Anderton Boat Lift was of major significance. Not just in the fact that the world’s first boat lift had been restored but that this showed how a partnership of public, private and voluntary organisations could work together on a waterway restoration to create a project which will have a major impact on the lives of local people.

The new “canal age” is all about restoring waterway projects to provide a catalyst for urban and rural regeneration. WREN has supported various waterway schemes in the past but none in such a big way as the Anderton Boat Lift, the WREN funding of £200,000 came at a crucial time. While most of the funding for the scheme had come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and British Waterways the Waterways Trust had been left with the tricky task of raising the last £800,000 towards the total £7.5m restoration cost. WREN’s support to this appeal was fundamental in the Trust being able to reach its target.

The impact of the restored boat lift can already be seen. New jobs have been created. Thousands of tourists have been attracted to the area. Businesses associated with the Trent and Mersey Canal and River Weaver are thriving.

Project Details

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Richard Smith
Apr 04, 2002
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Grant Information

FCC Community Action Fund
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