Nearly £1million to be spent transforming 2km stretch of canal in Harborough

The currently muddy towpath will be widened and be suitable for use all year round.
The current towpathThe current towpath
The current towpath

Nearly £1millon is being invested in transforming a stretch of canal towpath in Harborough.

The Canal & River Trust and Sustrans – a charity making it easier for people to walk and bike - have announced the project which will improve the section of the Grand Union Canal towpath which runs for 2km from the town’s canal basin.

It will see some £900,000 invested in transforming the currently muddy towpath and make it suitable for use all year round for those on bike or foot. The path will also be widened with an all-weather surface and mooring for boats will be improved.

Clare Maltby from Sustrans with Alan Leather from the Canal & River Trust, Cllr Simon Whelband, MP Neil O’Brien, and David Wright from HDCClare Maltby from Sustrans with Alan Leather from the Canal & River Trust, Cllr Simon Whelband, MP Neil O’Brien, and David Wright from HDC
Clare Maltby from Sustrans with Alan Leather from the Canal & River Trust, Cllr Simon Whelband, MP Neil O’Brien, and David Wright from HDC

Work will begin in May and last around 15 weeks. Some parts of the towpath will be closed throughout with diversions in place.

Funding for the project is from the Department of Transport along with a Section 106 contribution from housing developers at Wellington Place.

Canal & River Trust spokesman Alan Leather said: “It is a beautiful stretch of canal, and we are pleased to be able to respond to the local demand for these improvements which will make it easier for people visiting, living and working in Market Harborough to enjoy the canal.

“As a charity we’re incredibly grateful for the funding to make these improvements possible. It’s great to see how much local people value the canal, and their continued support is vital so that we can continue to protect and preserve our historic waterways and avert the decline we saw last century.”

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien visited the site to find out more about the work.

He said: “I am delighted that the towpath will be significantly improved, meaning it will be possible to walk or cycle alongside the canal at all times of the year. The works will allow more people to enjoy this pleasant stretch of the Grand Union Canal, and I would like to thank everyone who has made this project possible. I am looking forward to being able to walk along the towpath once it’s completed.”