In 1968 the Chesterfield Canal was saved from complete closure. In 1989, nearly half of it was a muddy ditch or had disappeared completely.
Since then the navigable parts have been cleaned up. More than half of the rest has already been restored, including building 11 new bridges.
In 1989, 16 locks worked, now 53 locks work. 4 of these were restored by our Volunteer Work Party; they designed, engineered and built a fifth from scratch and then built a sixth.
In 1989, 26 miles of canal were navigable, but boats kept getting stuck in weed, now 37 miles are virtually weed free and are used regularly.
In 1989, there was a Trebor sweet factory near Chesterfield station, the site now has the new terminal canal basin which has been dug as the centrepiece of the £310 million Waterside development.
The Chesterfield Canal has come a long way in 25 years, we believe that the time has now come to Close The Gap and link Kiveton to Staveley making it possible to take a boat from the River Trent into the heart of Chesterfield for the first time since 1907. We aim to complete this by 2027, the 250th Anniversary of the opening of the canal.
The new Staveley Town Basin was opened in 2012.
The extended and refurbished Hollingwood Lock House was opened in 2011 creating a social hub and Coffee Shop.
Restoration of a stretch of canal at Renishaw was completed in 2009.
The people of Killamarsh have agreed upon a new line for the canal through the village and Killamarsh Greenway follows this route.
The site of Kiveton Colliery has been redeveloped with the route of the canal clearly defined.
Kiveton Waters fishery is designed to become a new canal marina.
Ecological studies, archaeological studies and engineering studies have been completed for virtually the whole of the unrestored gap. Plans and designs exist for locks, bridges and aqueducts.
An economic assessment study by Gibb Ltd. in 2001 predicted that the complete restoration of the canal would lead to the creation of over 1000 permanent new jobs and over 1700 temporary construction jobs with an annual tourist income of over £3 million.
We advocate that major works should start as soon as possible to boost the local economy, improve the environment and preserve the heritage of James Brindley’s last canal.
You can help by clicking here to join the Chesterfield Canal Trust.