Grant to NWM to restore 2 nationally important boats

A wooden ‘short boat’ is to be restored back to full working condition to act as a floating learning centre on the Leeds & Liverpool canal thanks to a HLF grant to the National Waterways Museum.

£790,300 has been granted from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – plus match funding of over £50,000 from the Wolfson Foundation – to projects at the Canal & River Trust (CRT) National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.

It will fund three key initiatives getting underway early in 2015 as part of the museum’s ‘Window on the World’ project.

NWM slipway

The first strand will see new exhibitions and interactive displays created, including hands on activities for visitors of all ages, on the currently derelict historic slipway which occupies a unique position overlooking the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal.

The other elements of the project will see the restoration of two of the most nationally important boats in the museum’s collection – Mossdale and George.

Mossdale is one of the last remaining all-wooden Mersey Flats, given to the museum by one of its founders, the late hotel boat operator Peter Froud. It will be preserved, displayed and interpreted at the museum.

George is a rare-surviving horse-drawn Leeds & Liverpool Canal ‘short boat’. It will be restored back to full working condition and used to offer a varied programme of activities and unique learning opportunities as part of a community outreach and education project on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and at the Museum during the winter months.

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’ve been able to fund a number of projects exploring the North West’s waterways. We’re delighted to help secure the future of two of Ellesmere Port’s nationally important historic vessels and provide a fascinating gateway into their heritage and importance to the region’s rich industrial history.”

CRT chief executive Richard Parry, said: “I am delighted that our partners at HLF continue to recognise the importance and historic significance of the UK’s canal network.  This grant will see over £2.6m HLF committed investment into our waterway network”

This grant is the third made by HLF to CRT projects in recent weeks following those for the Gloucester Waterways Museum (£994,000) and the Grantham Canal restoration (£830,500).

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report and images.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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