‘Friends’ joy after narrow boat grant

Horse Power - The Friends of Cromford Canal use a shire horse to pull a narrow boat from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction.

Horse Power - The Friends of Cromford Canal use a shire horse to pull a narrow boat from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction.

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The Friends of Cromford Canal are celebrating after scooping a £28,000 grant to purchase a narrow boat.

With work firmly underway to dredge a 1.3 mile section of the canal from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse, the Friends have expressed their “excitement” at the “splendid news”.

The grant – which has been financed by the Rural Development Programme for England and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – will mean that boat trips will be running as soon as dredging work is completed.

Pat Morriss, chairman of the Friends of Cromford Canal, said it was the “visitor potential” of the boat trips and inevitable boost to the local economy this would bring that secured the funding.

“The Friends look forward to providing the boat during the summer of 2013, and to playing our full role in attracting and retaining both existing and new visitors to the area,” Pat said.

Work to dredge the canal – removing material such as decomposing plants and soil particles to make the waterway deeper – is expected to be completed in June.

Pat said: “I would like to thank Derbyshire County Council and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Team for their unstinting help and cooperation.”