Restoration Progress to Date

There is no denying that our project is an enormous one!

The only way that a group of volunteers, albeit passionate ones, can achieve such a large project is to take it one step at a time.

Unfortunately not all the early efforts are seen on the canal route, but they are nevertheless important and significant achievements.

Preparatory Work

  • Studies – Full Engineering and Design Studies have been completed by WS Atkins to prove the feasibility of the overall project laying down the route, levels, costs and environmental and economic impacts.
  • Political Support – Support has been garnered from all political parties and local authorities and this is evidenced by their appointment as Trustees and the continued dialogue and assistance offered.
  • Public Awareness – There has been a continued drive to inform and consult the public. Interpretation signs have been erected along the full line of the canal outlining plans and heritage. The Trust provides speakers to groups, attends local fairs along the canal line each year. Extra efforts are now being placed in developing an increasing social media presence, providing PR to the public and corporate world and providing information on this web site, which has been recently upgraded.
  • Land Acquisition – The Trust has secured control of 94% of the canal route land. Some is already owned, some is owned by other parties with the trust holding an option to purchase and most is still held by the local authorities. The canal land was originally gifted to the local Councils when it was abandoned and they have agreed to transfer it back to the Trust for canal restoration when we are ready. We are currently in the process of transferring two stretches totalling over a mile from Derbyshire County Council as part of these agreements.
  • Outline Planning Permission – in 2011 the Trust secured Outline Planning Permission for the whole canal line. This involved coordinating three local authorities to ensure simultaneous approval and took almost four years to achieve. This ensures that the canal line will be respected in future.
  • Water Abstraction Rights – The Trust secured rights to abstract water from the River Derwent to feed the canal line, which is highest at Derby. Rights were achieved by a donation from Celanese when they ceased trading.

 Physical Achievements

  • Restoration of Swarkestone Bridge
  • Restoration of Ullickers Bridge in Borrowash
  • Installation of a culvert under Pacific Way in Pride Park ready for the canal crossing. This cost £50,000 to put in as the road was built and avoided a cost of over £1m that it would cost now.
  • Restoration of the Draycott line and drainage channel. This reduces the cost to complete this section to canal specification significantly.
  • Clearance of the vegetation and planting and laying around a mile of Hawthorn hedgerow.
  • Managing the eradication of invasive plant species such as Himalayan Balsam and Japanese knotweed.
  • Part restoration of the Borrowash Bottom (Shacklecross) Lock and clearing half a mile of canal line surrounding it.
  • Restoration of the Canal Cottages at Draycott – work is almost complete; due to finish in May 2022.
  • Excavation of Sandiacre Lock. This will be the first point that the Derby Canal with join the Erewash Canal.