Progress so far

The Trust has commenced a number of activities to work towards making the river Derwent navigable again. These include:

1: Gaining support from Derby City Council for the prospect of riverfront regeneration and the opening of the river Derwent to navigation from Pride Park to Darley Abbey Mills via the City and Darley Park. Indeed, the Council have suggested that the small weir outside the Council House could be removed and a trip boat could be operated between the Council House and Darley Abbey Mills as an interim measure.

2: Derwent Depth Survey – An initial depth survey has been undertaken between the Silk Mill and Pride Park on the Trust’s behalf by volunteers from Midland Canoe Club with Trust volunteers undertaking the recordings. The Midland Canoe Club volunteers strapped four two person canoes side by side to represent the width of a typical river vessel and paddled down river to measure the depth at various points.

From initial analysis of the recordings navigation will be achievable with minor works being undertaken to remove silt from a small number of locations along the route, typically on the approaches to bridges. A snap shot of the recordings is depicted below. Further analysis will be undertaken to extrapolate the recordings against river level recordings from the gauging station upstream of the survey site over the last five years. The Trust wishes to express its thanks to the Midland Canoe Club for their support with this endeavour.

3:Derby Arm Scale Model – The working scale model of the Derby Arm Boat lift has been on public display in Derby since the beginning of 2018. Now, December 2019 it has a new home in the Riverside Library in Derby City Centre.  The model was originally built by 12 Rolls-Royce graduates and trainees as part of their community project in 2017. This interactive display spent its first year on public display in Derby’s Local Studies Library, in the newly refurbished Riverside Chambers building where it attracted many budding young engineers and their families. The model has been carefully designed so that it can be used as a STEM education tool for school children across the city, teaching them about canals, mechanics, electronics and the latest manufacturing techniques. It will also continue to be used to bring the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust’s regeneration plans to the attention of the wider public. If you would like to visit the model, it is now based at the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre in Derby (please look at the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust website to arrange a visit)

The video below shows some of the Derby Arm Scale Model components being 3D printed:

4: Derwent Drone Footage – The Trust has commissioned a drone to film part of the river navigation journey footage, which will be incorporated into an animation of what the river navigation could look like. A segment of the drone footage is available to view here. The Trust wishes to express its thanks to Sky Eye Concepts Ltd.