The Bridgewater Canal Trust was formed following a breach of
the canal at Dunham Massey.
On the 2nd August 1971, a report was received from the Altrincham police concerning
a leak from the Bridgewater Canal near the Bollin Aqueduct. The canal crosses
over the River Bollin on an embankment with the Canal water level thirty four
feet above river level. The Canal gushing into the river below had soon washed
out a gorge in the embankment ninety feet wide.
Stop logs were positioned across the Canal on either side of
the breach to stem the loss of water from the Canal. This had caused water levels
In Manchester to fall by 14 inches.
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
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. In the light of the possible
formation of a trust, the breach was repaired and the Canal was finally
reopened to navigation in September 1973.
Local authorities entered into the trust deed on the 5th
November 1975. The parties to the Bridgewater Canal Trust at that time were; Cheshire County Council, Halton
Borough Council, Warrington Borough Council, Macclesfield Borough Council,
Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, Manchester City Council, Salford City
Council, Wigan Council, and the Manchester Ship Canal Company.
These authorities obviously could have made payment directly
to the Manchester Ship Canal Company but it was felt that a Trust would offer
them a more direct involvement in the spending of such money and an overview of
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.