About Us

The Bridgewater Canal is a 65km canal stretching from Runcorn to Leigh and is owned and operated by The Peel Group.

The Bridgewater Canal is a 65km (39 mile) canal stretching from Runcorn to Leigh in the North West of England. Constructed over 250 years ago by the Duke of Bridgewater, it is considered to be the first true canal at England. Built at one level, its route followed the contours of the land to avoid the use of locks.

The Canal was constructed to transport the Duke of Bridgewater’s coal from his mine at Worsley efficiently and cheaply to the rapidly expanding towns and cities nearby. At its peak, over 3 million tonnes of traffic used the Bridgewater Canal. Nowadays it is a leisure waterway popular with many cruising boaters.

The Canal is also a strategic link between the North and South canal network and features one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways, the well-known "Barton Swing Aqueduct" which passes over the Manchester Ship Canal.

The Bridgewater Canal is owned and operated by The Bridgewater Canal Company Limited, part of The Peel Group, in conjunction with the Bridgewater Canal Trust.

The Bridgewater Canal Company Limited is a statutory body responsible for navigation and maintenance of the Bridgewater Canal.

About The Peel Group

The Peel Group is one of the leading infrastructure, real estate and investment enterprises in the UK. Our diverse network of businesses ranges from ports to airports; land to leisure; media to hotels; wind farms to shopping centres, and a portfolio of investments in major public companies. 

www.peel.co.uk

The Bridgewater Canal Trust

The Bridgewater Canal Trust was formed following a breach of the canal at Dunham Massey in 1971.The cost of repairing the breach was £250,000 and under the Transport Act 1968 the Manchester Ship Canal Company could have applied to close the Canal, or alternatively have sought authority to pipe water across the breach.

However, following discussions with Cheshire County Council and other interested parties it was decided that a working party would be formed to explore the possible formation of a Trust which might bear a fair share of the cost of maintaining the Canal.

The trust meet twice a year and formulate the long and short -term policies for the amenity use of the Bridgewater Canal. All income generated by the Bridgewater Canal from pleasure craft, fishing, drainage and sales of water for cooling purposes etc. is used to maintain and improve the Canal and its local environment.

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