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The Lancaster Canal Trust
Registered Charity No. 240947
Affiliated to the Inland Waterways Association

The Lancaster Canal Trust
The Lancaster Canal Trust
The Trust was formed in 1963 with the aim of re-opening the canal to Kendal. Unfortunately, the project was thwarted through the construction of the M6, which led to the canal being blocked in several places.

Despite this setback members have worked tirelessly to convince the public and local authorities that the canal could be re-opened. Success came in 1991 when Lancashire, Cumbria, South Lakeland District and Lancaster City Councils agreed to form a partnership with the Trust. This would investigate the possibilities of re-opening the canal to Kendal. A jointly funded feasibility study proved conclusively that it was practical to restore the canal. The partnership has been formalised in the Northern Reaches Restoration Group, and now includes British Waterways and other groups with an interest in the canal. Afurther milestone was passed in 2000 when British Waterways stated its intention to restore the canal with a start date for reconstruction of 2005.


The Trust has also been active in the "Ribble Link", to construct a navigable waterway from the canal to the River Ribble. Boats would then travel via the River Douglas to join the Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. This project secured £2.5m of National Lottery funding and work began in Spring 2001, with the opening Spring 2002. Thus, 200 years later than expected, the Lancaster Canal will finally become part of the Britain's main canal network and it will be possible to travel from London to Lancaster by inland waterways.

All the activities listed are carried out by Trust members. Membership is open to any person aged over 16, either as individuals or as family members. Children are welcome through family membership. Members receive regular information on the Trust through their magazine, 'Waterwitch' and the opportunity to join in the social side through its activities. Membership is also open to corporate bodies and groups having an interest in the canal.

What the Trust Does?
  • Promote the restoration of the Northern Reaches of the Canal to navigable standards to Kendal.
  • Promote its use as a multi functional public amenity.
  • Work to preserve its essential character and history.
The Trust tries to achieve these aims by:
  • Raising funds to support the restoration of the canal by taking our sales stand to shows and functions.
  • Arranging illustrated talks on the history of, and the future use for, the canal to interested groups.
  • Maintaining close liaison with local authorities and British Waterways on planning and development issues.
  • Organising regular working parties during winter months on projects supporting restoration and enhancing the canal's amenity value.
  • Operating our trip boat, 'Waterwitch" on Sundays and Bank Holidays through the summer, from Crooklands, for the benefit of the public.
  • Informing and educating the public on the canal through publicity and publications such as our own guide book, "The comolete Guide to the Lancaster Canal"
For Membership Applications go to The Lancaster Canal Trust