Leeds and Liverpool Canal is praised at awards event

WINNER: The Leeds & Liverpool Canal has won an award for its bicentenary celebrations.
WINNER: The Leeds & Liverpool Canal has won an award for its bicentenary celebrations.
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The Leeds & Liverpool Canal has won an ‘Oscar of the Waterways’.

The canal’s bicentenary celebrations in 2016 were honoured at the Canal & River Trust’s 2017 Living Waterways awards for an “ambitious project that mobilised public events on an unprecedented scale”.

Last year’s celebrations involved hundreds of supporters, volunteers, groups and waterway staff. They delivered a series of events and celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary throughout the year.

Key highlights included the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Every Mile Counts Milemarker Restoration’ project. More than 100 volunteers successfully restored or replaced all the mile markers along the 127-mile waterway. Another event was the epic nine-day ceremonial voyage from Leeds to Liverpool for The Kennet heritage education boat.

Chantelle Seaborn, north west waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “We were thrilled to win the award for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal bicentenary on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers, partners and colleagues who created a brilliant year of events and celebrations. Thousands of people engaged with the canal during the festivities - many for the first time.

“The 200th anniversary has given the waterway and local communities a major boost which we hope will pay dividends for many years to come.”

Yorkshire swept the board at the awards ceremony in Birmingham. The Hirst Lock bicentenary project on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, near Shipley, won. As did the Elland Road Bridge in Halifax for innovative construction techniques following the Boxing Day Floods of 2015.