Video: Foxton Locks grant to give boat project a lift

A major visitor attraction and beauty spot in the district is to receive a huge financial boost for its plans to increase tourism and revenue.

Foxton Locks has successfully applied for Arts Council England funding of £163,000.

Steve Bowyer chairman of Foxton Incline Plane Trust outside Foxton Musuem. (MHMP MAIL PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Steve Bowyer chairman of Foxton Incline Plane Trust outside Foxton Musuem. (MHMP MAIL PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER)

It is one of only ten projects in the East Midlands to earn a grant and will be used to support its major reinterpretation project for visitors which will include a digital recreation of the historical boat lift.

The Renaissance Strategic Support Fund grant will go a long way in fulfilling the total £193,000 cost of the project.

The reinterpretation scheme - entitled Revealing the Treasures of Foxton Locks - is aiming to increase visitor numbers to the locks and Foxton Canal Museum, and increase revenue.

It will see new trails, guides and audio and digital enhancements, an interactive website portal with mobile app and a full re-curation of the museum.

There will also be interpretation panels installed at key sites with QR and ER code links, a new WiFi network and the creation of a 3D digital model of the boat lift, a long-standing goal of the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust.

Trust chairman Steve Bowyer was delighted with the financial support.

He said: “This funding will enable us to make great improvements to the site and museum with a particular focus on a major piece of our Victorian industrial heritage, the unique Foxton Inclined Plane Boat Lift.

“While ideally we would like to rebuild the lift, the use of digital technology will be a fantastic way of improving the understanding of the role the boat lift played in the history of the site and surrounding waterways.”

The Arts Council bid was led by tourism group Leicester Shire Promotions with support from The Canal and River Trust, Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, Foxton Canal Museum, Leicestershire County Council and Harborough District Council.

Peter Knott, the area director of the Arts Council, said: “I’m pleased that the Arts Council’s investment in this project will support the re-telling of Foxton Locks industrial history through the use of creative and digital technology.

“I look forward to seeing how these digital developments capture the interest and imagination of new visitors to the site.”