Daventry narrow boat lift plan awarded £110k by council

A computer design of how the narrowboat lift may look
A computer design of how the narrowboat lift may look

A lift that would raise up narrow boats and allow them into Daventry town centre has been awarded £110k by councillors.

The lift would be on the Grand Union Canal and allow vessels to be raised to the level of the canal arm, which would be 12 metres higher.

Not only would it help bring more boaters into the town, Daventry District Council hope it will be a tourist attraction in its own right.

A meeting of the local authority’s strategy group last week has now approved funding of the project to the tune of £110,000.

Council leader Chris Millar said: “This will be a good thing not just for the area around the canal arm.

“I think it will bring tremendous benefits to the whole area.”

Council papers setting out the case for allocating the funds say the lift would create a tourist attraction of “regional and possibly national significance in a similar way to the Falkirk Wheel”, which connects two canals in central Scotland and attracts about 500,000 visitors a year.

Officers also argue that jobs will be created during construction and offshoot businesses may develop.

It is also argued that the project will reduce journey times along the canal arm and to improve accessibility.

Other benefits, according to the council, may include:

n Providing an environmentally sustainable structure that conserves water, resources and minimises use of energy in operation.

n Providing a focal point of interest for the boating community and waterway enthusiasts.

n Providing opportunities for educational benefits and projects.
The Daventry Canal Arm would be the first new section of canal to be built anywhere in the country for more than 150 years

The main canal arm planning application, which is separate but linked to the lift, will be determined in early 2016. Only if it is approved, would a further application for the boat lift be put together.

The report says: “Insufficient information has been produced to submit an application, so it would be necessary to employ consultants to produce all of the supporting information.”