Cromford Canal, which was once a vital waterway for Derbyshire's industry, could now be supplying a new industry in Derbyshire, tourism. Before the Canal can start attracting tourists it needs to under go an extensive restoration at a cost of £57million.
Thought the cost seems huge the potential benefits could bring in millions of pounds in the local economy for many years to come. Millions will be bought in by tourist who will hopefully flock to the area as well as even more money generated from the development of marinas and waterfront housing.
Many expect the majority of the visiting tourists will still be walkers who will love to walk the new full restored foot path as well as those will come on days out too see all the boats and marinas, there will also be a growing number of people arriving on canal boats or looking to take boating holidays. Over 500,000 over night boat trips are taken each year and with a restored canal this beautiful area of Derbyshire will now be open to them to explore and enjoy.
Those behind the scheme have been encouraged by the recent rebuild of the 22 mile Doritwich Canal in Worcestershire which is predicted to generate an extra £2.75million a year through tourism as another £57million through a number of building projects along the canal.
The course of the canal would run as it did in the 19th century from Langley Mill with stopping points at Cromford and Pixton. Once the canal has been rebuilt it will link up with canals and waterways across the country allowing people to travel by boat from Bath, Hull, Liverpool and even London.
The Canal was first completed in 1794 and stretched 14.5 miles from Cromford to Langley Mill and joined Erewash Canal. The canal was first used to transport coal, cotton and limestone, all of which was vital to the areas economy. By 1802 the canal had carried over 150,000 tons and 40 years latter 300,000 had been transported. By 1875 the canal was in decline and was transporting 45,000 tones a year. Most of the canal was abandoned in 1944 with much of the canal now lying derelict.
The Cromford Canal will be another bow to Derby's string of fantastic attractions and destinations to draw more and more tourists in to discover this beautiful and versatile part of Britain.