Canals as a focus for community renewal

Once the butt of jokes about shopping trolleys and pollution, canals have, over the last decade, become an important focus for urban and rural renewal.

Half of our waterways flow through government priority areas for investment and regeneration, and British Waterways is influencing and enabling an estimated £10 billion worth of projects to revive waterfronts in almost every major city and town that canals and rivers pass through.

Robin Evans, BW’s chief executive, comments: “The consultation looks at how we best manage the limited space along the line of the canals to protect the qualities that make them so special, not only to boaters but to the public at large.”

Waterside regeneration is one of the main public benefits provided by BW.

Development by the water’s edge plays a key role in regenerating both cities and rural areas by creating attractive and sustainable developments for the wider community. Over the past decade, BW’s joint ventures have regenerated the waterfronts of major cities including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Sheffield and Leeds, as well as Paddington Basin in London.

British Waterways is influencing and enabling regeneration around the country alongside our canals and rivers. This includes modern commercial and residential developments, ‘brownfield’ development land, as well as boatyards, docks, historic warehouses, lock cottages and marinas.

Regeneration public benefit created by British Waterways and its joint ventures include:

  • 200 hectares of brownfield land development across 70 schemes
  • 17,000 new homes created of which 2,000 will be affordable, and 9,500 created on our land

Steve Dunlop, British Waterways regeneration director, says: “While the recession will have an impact on the pace of delivery and the resources available for major infrastructure projects, these projects are long term and the time span will accommodate different market conditions. Regeneration will, I’m sure, remain a high priority locally, regionally and nationally, and the waterways will continue to be a major catalyst for successful regeneration across the UK.”

via Newsroom – British Waterways.

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