Halton Borough Council has allocated £500,000 from the Environmental Fund to carry out work at the Sankey Canal on Spike Island.

The project will involve a range of work and support for dealing with issues arising from the water supply crisis at the canal.

The funding – £100k each year for five years – is from the Environmental Fund set up under the Viridor ‘Runcorn Energy from Waste’ Section 106 agreement.

For almost 40 years the Sankey Canal was kept in water as a result of water being pumped from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station that was a by-product of their electricity generation. However, in March of this year, the pumping of water into the canal permanently ceased. Since then, water levels in Halton’s section of the Sankey Canal began to drop and the Council continues to work with partners to secure a permanent and sustainable water supply for the canal.

The project will include:

  • A range of repairs and canal infrastructure improvements that would have previously been difficult to do. This will help ensure the integrity of the canal structure for the years ahead and help to make the canal more waterproof than it has been, historically.
  • Supporting the design, development and delivery of any wider infrastructure improvement projects.
  • Carrying out work to seal the locks to help with water retention.
  • The removal of boats from the canal.
  • An enhanced maintenance regime.
  • Funding any required feasibility studies.

Work will begin immediately and continue over a five year period.

Council Leader, Cllr Mike Wharton, says: “The Council wants to reassure residents and interest groups that we are committed to the long-term future of the canal and to finding sustainable solutions to the issues. This project will also improve the local landscape and help with nature conservation measures at Spike Island.”